The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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When we lived in Puerto Rico, my family often went to the beach to collect seashells, play with the water, and as seen above, find sand crabs and then set them free. This one was particularly special as it was the one beach, we always traveled there despite the busy schedules with owning a restaurant. This was a memory that both him and I could reflect on and share together. My dad explained this with excitement as he was always fond of it seeing all of the family in pure joy.

“Get up! Time to get up! When you sleep early, you have to learn to get up early,” he said to his groggily woken up children: one of age four and another of age five.

“But it’s not time for school, it’s a Saturday,” the older, Potent, replied.

Noticing that Potent had seen the time on the clock, reading 5:10am, he knew his son would proceed to cover himself with his blanket. His daughter, Ashley, also laid still and unbothered.

After a battle of fifteen minutes, he knew only one option was left—yanking the two off of each of their beds. Lifting his daughter up, he placed her on the ice floor, a proper method to kickstart her consciousness. “Fine, I’ll go brush my teeth, but ‘哥哥’ (older brother) better suffer too,” Ashley declared as she stomped out the door.

However, carrying his son would become heavy weightlifting, so he opted to drag him out instead, grasping both his ankles to lose his grasp from the bed stand. With success, Potent lazily swayed towards the bathroom to prepare for their next adventure. 

With a quick breakfast of leftover rice porridge, the family was set out to travel at the ends of dawn. As the small town remained asleep, the roads were empty with the exception of a gray Toyota breaking the complete silence, each participant seated were prepared with flip flops and laboriously lathered with sunscreen. Driving past their neighborhood sign reading, Valles de Añasco, hints of orange light painted the car windows—an alert that his arranged opportunity for his children would soon be missed. 

The colored variation of red and blue painted the sky; he was not too late. The palm trees lightly danced with the breeze and the sand still remained cool to touch, an immediate action his little ones had proceeded to carry out. Hand-in-hand, the family of four walked to the shore, watching the sun rise from the horizon. 

Seeing the lifted smiles of everyone by his side gave him a sense of warmth, a warmth far incomparable to the heat of the sun. In a matter of seconds, the yellow circle had descended to the middle of the scenery. It was officially morning, a beautiful start to the day.

Within the sand lied holes ranging from the size of quarters to baseballs. Sticking his hand in one of them, his performance had evoked curiosity to the young pair, and intention he had in mind for another lesson. Apart from watching the sunrise and running around the beach, they were in for another treat.

“The moment you place your hand in, you must keep digging as deep and fast as you can,” while displaying the movement, “you’ll find yourself with this,” showing the glimmering eyes a small, yellow sand crab.  

Yellow Crabs

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2005
Añasco, Puerto Rico

When we lived in Puerto Rico, my family often went to the beach to collect seashells, play with the water, and as seen above, find sand crabs and then set them free. This one was particularly special as it was the one beach, we always traveled there despite the busy schedules with owning a restaurant. This was a memory that both him and I could reflect on and share together. My dad explained this with excitement as he was always fond of it seeing all of the family in pure joy.

Decade: 2000s
Rating:
Recorded by Ashley Wu on June 6, 2019
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