Stand up paddling off the coast of Pawleys Island, testing a new GoPro HD camera mounted on the front of my board. This camera now sits on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, undamaged since it's waterproof. One day it will wash up on the shore of some far away country and whoever retrieves it will have a lovely 16 GB flash card with all sorts of paddling videos on it.
The fierce winds and crashing waves settled down a bit yesterday. Alex joined me in the afternoon and we surfed together on the big board. It was truly a one-of-a-kind experience. His face totally lit up when we caught a good ride and any fear he had melted away. I thought I was capturing it all on video too!
Then he looks at the back of the board and says, "Uh, Dad, where's your camera?"
Scratch one Go Pro. Ah well . . . the camera I will replace, but the images are forever lost.
The beach is one of the most joyful places on Earth for me as a father. I've been bringing my kids to the South Carolina beaches since they were born.
June, July and August are sacred months where my beasties are home from school with no schedules, no routines. Just lots of free time with me and a chance to create adventures both large and small.
We get to the beach several times a summer and end up building three of four epic sandcastles. I love working with the sand. The children have fed off that passion and learning how to carve towers has become a rite of passage in our family.
We build the castles just below the high tide line, so that we get to watch the waves take back our creations as the day ends.
Philip Williams is the author of The Griffin. He is also a sculptor, a painter, and the father of three amazing beasties.
Enjoy simple pleasures. Push the envelope. Love what you do. Take nothing for granted.
Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it all has finally come together. What you have always wished for has finally come to be. You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself, 'How did I get through all of that?'