• Casey McKinley

Our Castles are Made of Sand


This Coronavirus pandemic, and related lockdown, has served as a reminder of the forces beyond our control that have the power to completely reshape our lives in an instant.


Our collective response to Coronavirus' threat of physical harm has created a deep and lasting impact on the social, emotional and financial health of each and every person on the planet. No one has been shielded from its influence, regardless of their strength, intelligence or power.


The lives that we have worked so tirelessly to build were tailored to a world that has changed in the blink of an eye; uncovering the truth that our "castles stand upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand," ("Viva la Vida" by Coldplay).


Reflecting on this truth has revealed that my life has been a series of sandcastles. Each one being washed away by the tides when its time had come.

While I can't influence the timing or severity of the tides, I can choose how I react to them.

The first choice would be to externalize the entire experience. By doing so, I could curse or fear the tide or I could blame the design or location of my castle. However, this won't serve me in the long run as it ignores the fact that the tides are inevitable and that sand is an inherently fragile building material.

The second choice requires acceptance of the impermanence of sandcastles. Acknowledging that each castle is only here temporarily enhances its influence and my willingness to let it go when the tides arise to take it away.


I chose the later, and will make the following commitment:

  • I vow to embrace the natural cycle of building and letting go.

  • When rebuilding, I will adapt to the new reality and let go of the way things were.

  • I will focus my attention on appreciating my castles while they're here.

  • I accept that each castle I build will inevitably be swept away.


Rebuilding to the best of our ability is critical to making the most of our days. A day well-lived can never be taken away, no matter what the future holds. It forms the foundation of who we are, and ultimately how beautiful of a life we are able to build when our final sandcastle is swept away.


Ultimately, the goal is to enjoy the process of building something beautiful. In this way, we can be perpetually in a state of joy even. Having our castle swept away gives us the opportunity to build anew.


"To the dull mind all nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world sparkles with light."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

©2019-2020 by Illumed Mind