I was sitting on a beach one summer day, watching two children, a boy
and a girl, playing in the sand.
They were hard at work building an elaborate sandcastle by the water's
edge with gates and towers and moats and internal passages. Just when
they had nearly finished their project, a big wave came along and
knocked it down, reducing it to a heap of wet sand.
I expected the children to burst into tears, devastated by what had
happened to all their hard work. But they surprised me. Instead, they
ran up the shore away from the water, laughing and holding hands, and
sat down to build another castle.
I realized that they had taught me an important lesson. All the things
in our lives, all the complicated structures we spend so much time and
energy creating, are built on sand.
Only our relationships to other people endure. Sooner or later, the wave
will come along and knock down what we have worked so hard to build up.
When that happens, only the person who has somebody's hand to hold will
be able to laugh.