February 06, 2013

A Gift from the Sea

February 6, 2013 Photo of the day:
"A Gift from the Sea"

Anne Morrow Lindbergh's A Gift from the Sea is one of my favorite books. During her vacation on Florida's Captiva Island, the wife of famous aviator, Charles Lindbergh, drew inspiration from seashells to reflect upon love and marriage, work and play, solitude and peace, and the various stages of womanhood. Here are a few pearls of wisdom from this lovely, reflective book:
  • The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.
  • One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can only collect a few. One moon shell is more impressive than three. There is only one moon in the sky.
  • I want first of all... to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact--to borrow from the language of the saints--to live "in grace" as much of the time as possible...I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God.
  • The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere.
  • Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, continually visited and abandoned by the tides.
  • Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now.
  • The shape of my life is, of course, determined by many things; my background and childhood, my mind and its education, my conscience and its pressures, my heart and its desires.
  • Women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves. There is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before.
  • “How inexplicable it seems. Anything else will be accepted as a better excuse. If one sets aside time for a business appointment, a trip to the hairdresser, a social engagement or a shopping expedition, that time is accepted as inviolable. But if one says: I cannot come because that is my hour to be alone, one is considered rude, egotistical or strange.”