Monday, March 10, 2008

A Timeless Gift

During the years when I was struggling to "balance" the demands of being a working woman, wife, friend, mother,  sibling, adult child, neighbor, volunteer, I  often sought solitude and simplicity at a small simple lake cabin or the seashore.  I discovered a small gem during that time, the book Gift From the Sea, written by Anne Morrow Lindbergh in 1955.  The book is a remarkable achievement. Using the shells she picks up at the beach during a brief seaside vacation, she reflects on the shape, complexities and phases of a woman's life. It's a lovely, lyrical book that is still relevant today and presaged so many of the themes written about in the contemporary crop of self-help and New Age spiritual books: simplicity,  solitude, caring for the soul,  finding and retaining a sense of one's "essence" in the midst of living modern busy, noisy lives. Lindbergh was the mother of five, wife of the famed aviator and her childhood summers were spent on an island in Maine. The sea and the beach were elements woven throughout her life.  Her book was written over 50 years ago but remains timeless. What sets it apart is her lyrical, poetic quality of writing, and the intellectual honesty of her reflections. You may be somewhat skeptical, given the huge assortment of books available on similar themes. However, I urge you to find a copy and form your own assessment. For me, it remains a book to savor, to read many times, and a "gift" to share with others.

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