Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the wife of aviator Charles Lindbergh, wrote a beautiful and insightful book in 1955 called Gift from the Sea while on a beach vacation in Florida. She used the inspiration she received by the amazing shells she found along the shore to meditate on her life. She wrote of the commitments and demands of everyday life as well as the changing dynamics of marriage and family over time. She wrote of love and patience and everything that is wonderful about the beach and wonderful about family and being a strong woman.
I enjoyed reading this book several years ago while on a vacation in Florida and look forward to reading it again this week when I go to the same area of Florida where Ms. Lindbergh was vacationing when she wrote the book. It will be much more meaningful to me now as this vacation will be without my family, but with close girlfriends who are all busy wives and mothers now and are juggling many commitments and struggling with both wanting to get away from it all for a few days yet feeling guilty and missing our families terribly. The beach is an amazing place and I am so excited to have fun with my girlfriends and enjoy the sun and salt water! I am sure on this trip we will all receive many gifts from the sea.
"At first, the tired body takes over completely. As on shipboard, one descends into a deck-chair apathy. One is forced against one’s mind, against all tidy resolutions, back into the primeval rhythms of the sea-shore. Rollers on the beach, wind in the pines, the slow flapping of herons across sand dunes, drown out the hectic rhythms of city and suburb, time tables and schedules. One falls under their spell, relaxes, stretches out prone. One becomes, in fact, like the element on which one lies, flattened by the sea; bare, open, empty as the beach, erased by today’s tides of all yesterday’s scribblings."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea