Sand dunes come in all sizes. So do
People, and it takes a big man to
Roll down a sand dune.

Earlier this week, my mother handed me this black and white 8X10 picture glued to a faded piece of tan construction paper. I believe my oldest brother was the photographer. She found the picture in just the past week or two while cleaning the utility room in preparation for remodeling. I was visiting while on a business trip. On its back is the caption copied above.

Many years ago, when my oldest brothers were in high school, my family used to take our church’s youth group camping near Fort Bragg, Calif. At the time, I was probably 5 or 6 years old.

Between the campsite and the ocean was a large expanse of sand dunes. Away from the ocean, closer to the campsite and the groves of eucalyptus trees, the dunes were tall, steep, and crested — perfect for running, launching into space, and landing as far down the dune’s face as possible. We learned to flip in mid air, sometimes not quite making it back to vertical before landing. We’d also somersault down the dunes in a tight tuck, competing for the most revolutions before reaching the bottom. And of course, there was always the traditional, sideways roll down the dunes like they were grassy slopes.

I believe my mother would find sand in my ears for at least a week after our return.

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