Travel responsibly and sustainably

To See a Word in a Grain of Sand

roche sur le sable blond et noir des Îles de la Madeleine

Sand. Thousands of little grains of quartz crashing onto the beach once rinsed of their iron oxide. Thousands of minuscules grains, tiny parts of a whole, of a word: sand.

With summer comes the sand. Always.

Over the years, I've come to a realization: there really is an air-like quality to sand. It finds its way into everything and ends up everywhere!

In one's shoes while walking, even with sensible, closed-toe shoes. In one's clothes, even if one never directly touches the beach. Between one's toes, in one's hair, between one's teeth. On every towel, in every car - everywhere.

And when our good friend the wind gets involved, it gets even worse, and the same thing could be said about the sea. Whether we're looking for sand or not, it always journeys back to us.

As a child, I hated the sand. I saw it as a sort of parasite. I was trying to get rid of it, to eliminate it entirely, but it was a pointless battle.

Nowadays, I've come to understand that there's no point getting upset about it: no matter how hard you try to get away from it, the sand will still always be there! So I've started appreciating it instead.

Because when you start thinking about it, what would summer be without a little sand? What would the Magdalen Islands be without a lot of it?

I like to think that the whole process - the sea eating away at the red cliffs and then gifting back the stolen bits of landscape as minuscules golden grains ¬- is the same that brings us back to the earth. The same circle of life, the same path we're travelling on, changing location or appearance but really, deep down, staying the same all along. That process is needed: it brings movement, change, evolution, it brings life.

Sometimes, I picture myself as a grain of sand, carried away by the elements. And my, it's really all that I am! I whirl and twirl and swirl around; I meet obstacles that end up carrying me further along the way. To be a grain of sand is to be free.

When I'm on the beach, soaking in the sun, I ponder on it all and remind myself how lucky I am to live here, with the sand.

This sand between my toes, running through my fingers. In my belly button, on my skin, under my fingernails.

It only tells me where I've been. And I'll keep carrying these sandy stowaways wherever I'm going, happy to give them a free ride until their next stop.

Par Magalie Fournier

Magalie Fournier is a young artist in the making who grew up on the Magdalen Islands. She has always had a passion for writing and finds inspiration in her surroundings. She studied Arts, Literature and Communication at the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles.

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