Friday Favorites: Gift From the Sea

Friday, April 15, 2011

Gift From the Sea

by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Who knew that Charles Lindbergh’s wife was such a wonderful writer? I certainly didn’t. Gift From the Sea is a slim nonfiction book that she wrote on learning to enjoy life and manage the day-to-day struggles we can all relate to. The 50th anniversary edition of the book I read included an added retrospective chapter at the end.

Lindbergh compares different stages in a woman’s life to various shells she finds on the beach. The shells aren’t the point; it’s what they represent that carries the weight of the work. She touches on maintaining your individuality as a woman despite marriage and motherhood, a difficult balance to find.

Lindbergh’s writing is full of simple truths, but they’re ones we often miss in life. Her musings are all the more poignant when you remember that her child was kidnapped and murder. Yet somehow she was still able to maintain some perspective and attain a healthy life despite that tragedy.

I can’t think of a single woman I wouldn’t recommend this to. It’s a lovely reminder to appreciate whatever stage you’re in at the moment. I always fill my days with a million commitments and small tasks and this was a wonderful reminder to slow down and just enjoy the bliss of doing nothing sometimes.

Her words can speak for themselves, so here’s a few of the lines I loved…

“We Americans, with out terrific emphasis on youth, action, and material success, certainly tend to belittle the afternoon of life and pretend it never comes.”

“By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class.”

“Perhaps both men and women in America may hunger, in our material, outward, active, masculine culture, for the supposedly feminine qualities of the heart, mind and spirit – qualities which are actually neither masculine or feminine, but simply human qualities that have been neglected.”

“I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious.”


Bybee said...

I read Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead about a year and a half ago and I was floored by her writing, her intelligence, her courage -- just everything.

Carrie K. said...

I love, love, love Gift from the Sea! Your post makes me want to read it again - soon.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like exactly the kind of book I would fall in love with. Thanks for the recommendation, Lissa!

Jenners said...

I wrote a similar post about this book. I think it is a must have for all women. I just reread it recently and found just as amazing as the first time I read it.

BookQuoter said...

I reread this book every year on my birthday. Love it.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I'm so glad so many others love this book! I'll definitely be re-reading it as I go through different stages in life.

Mumsy said...

I don't know if you would be interested, but Anne Lindbergh's daughter (also Anne Lindbergh) wrote a wonderfully imaginative children's book called Travel Far, Pay No Fare. I think of it as the quintessential book for bookish children - it's about the many worlds that reading allows us to visit. My children loved it.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Mumsy - That sounds wonderful! It's been added to my list. Thanks!