01 August 2010

Life Lessons


I read Gift from the Sea ten years ago and picked it up again last week. Mrs. Lindbergh's view of life unfolds in relation to the shells she picks up on the beach. With each shell, she reveals thoughts about responsibilities and relationships. She found solace in the quiet and simple life her beach house offered.

I look at my shells, far away from a beach, my rocks, far away from the trail, remembering the peace, the space, acknowledging the tide, her wisdom and the blessings I have been given.

An excerpt follows:
Gift from the Sea-Anne Morrow Lindbergh


Argonauta


"Intermittency — an impossible lesson for human beings to learn. How can one learn to live through the ebb-tides of one's existence? How can one learn to take the trough of the wave? It is easier to understand here on the beach, where the breathlessly still ebb tides reveal another life below the level which mortals usually reach. In this crystalline moment of suspense, one has a sudden revelation of the secret kingdom at the bottom of the sea. Here in the shallow flats one finds, wading through warm ripples, great horse conchs pivoting on a leg; white sand dollars, marble medallions engraved in the mud; and myriads of bright-colored cochina-clams, glistening in the foam, their shells opening and shutting like butterflies' wings. So beautiful is the still hour of the sea's withdrawal, as beautiful as the sea's return when the encroaching waves pound up the beach, pressing to reach those dark rumpled chains of seaweed which mark the last high tide.


Perhaps this is the most important thing for me to take back from beach-living: simply the memory that each cycle of the tide is valid; each cycle of the wave is valid; each cycle of a relationship is valid. And my shells? I can sweep them all into my pocket. They are only there to remind me that the sea recedes and returns eternally" Anne Morrow Lindbergh

6 comments:

Brian Miller said...

ooo...thanks for sharing this...might just have to pick it up...good to think on those shells and rocks on occassion...

hope you are well...

Betsy said...

I have read this book three times! It's wonderful!!! The first time was on a cruise and while sitting on the beach reading...well, it just made it even better! :)

C.M. Jackson said...

brian--she wrote this book after she lost her son. It is a book that one goes to when one needs to find a center...a calm...all's good--thanks for being there-c

C.M. Jackson said...

betsy--I imagine that her words are even more powerful while reading the book on the beach..good for you..my reads have been from the armchair imagining the sound of gulls and the ocean and it is still amazing...c

willow said...

I must did this book out and give it another look. It's been years since I read it! Thanks for the reminder.

C.M. Jackson said...

willow--love to hear what you think when you re-read!

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