There’s a mention in The Wild Horses of Sweetbriar that the island of Sweetbriar used to be part of Nantucket, until the ocean broke it away. This weekend, on the beach at Assateague Island, the kids played endlessly with the concept of erosion. Alex was determined to build a seawall out of sand that would hold back the tide. Observing her failures taught her a lot about the power of water.
We tried to replicate the creation of Sweetbriar Island. We built a large island out of sand and broke off one part of it by directing the flow of water against the island. We built and eroded the island again and again, getting a sense of how water wore it away.
We probably should have done more to explore the wild horse connection, given that we were on Assateague. But honestly, it was hard to get up the impetus to visit the Pony Centre or any of the other wild horse-related tourist experiences when the beach was so absolutely perfect.
On our last morning, cameras already packed away, Alex picked up a clam shell as the waves receded and found a tiny, perfect starfish clinging tight to the underside. That was the kind of magical weekend it was.