Sandcastles

Imagine a Lego House,
two stories tall, with arched doorways,
more playrooms than bedrooms
and a garden to fence it off.

Now, remove all the Lego pieces.
Remove the red bricked slanting roof,
the second floor balcony,
the extra room for the dog that never existed anyway,
and all you’re left with is patchy imagination of a house
more fragile than a sandcastle,
because no wave needs to come and sweep it away,
a gust of wind will do.

When you learn to play with building blocks much heavier than Lego pieces,
is there really any scope for playgrounds to find their way back to construction sites?
We watch homes rise from the ground, like saplings finding their way towards the sun,
only to be swept off to another barren land to sit spectator to this germination once again.
When you spend long enough in areas such as these,
you realize that your fingers are too rough for play dough houses,
you cannot mould sandcastles in wet cement,
because the breakage is all you will ever know.

Sometime soon, you will learn to know the difference,
home is never a structure of walls made of clay or cement or Lego,
but a permanence that doesn’t fall apart when the rain comes down,
that doesn’t wait for the tide to wash it away.
Home is a tree, full grown years after the sapling found its way,
branches wide open, waiting to welcome you in.

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