Woman must come of age by herself...she must find her true center alone. Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea
No matter my age, or season of life, the beach, for me, is always a vacation for the soul. This past Monday, just two weeks before my 58th birthday and two months before our 34th wedding anniversary, I jumped on a yellow bike, rode one mile, and soon found myself with my feet in the sand, rereading parts of one of my all-time favorite books: Gift From The Sea, by, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. You can get a paperback copy for less than $6.00, by clicking on Amazon Prime.
Like my Bible, every time I put my nose in this book, depending on my current circumstances or season, nuggets of wisdom pour into my life. This Monday afternoon was no exception.
If I rise on the wings of dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:9-10
You see, as I reread my book on the sandy beach of Amelia Island, I decided I am moving into the Argonauta Stage (an argonauta, paper nautilus is a beach-world certain rare creature who is not fastened to its shell at all) as illustrated so beautifully by Lindbergh. Lindbergh wrote this journal-style book, this manuscript in 1955, thinking she was writing only for herself and her own growth. While I do not keep a journal these days, I can relate to Lindbergh’s keeping a diary, her time spent with introspection.
I kept a personal journal for over two decades and rereading these through the years has been very cathartic for me. As it turns out, her musings have helped countless people, albeit, mainly women, in all walks of life. This author gives the gift of herself as she relates to us as women, moms and wives. Whether you are a young single woman, a married woman with small people, yet to raise, have a special woman in your life, or are like me, a fifty-something woman with children gone and married, there is some nugget for you in this book. Here are a few of the points Lindbergh makes that spoke directly to me during this particular season of my journey:
“Is the golden fleece that awaits us some kind of new freedom for growth? And in this new freedom, is there any place for a relationship? I believe there is, after the oyster bed, an opportunity for the best relationship of all: not a limited, mutually exclusive one, like the sunrise shell; and not a functional, dependent one, as in the oyster bed; but the meeting of two whole fully developed people as persons.” (page 93)
“Woman must come of age by herself… She must find her true center alone.” (page 96)
“The relation of two sisters is not that of a man and a woman. But it can illustrate the essence of relationships. The light shed by any good relationship illuminates all relationships.” (page 99)
“A good relationship has a pattern like a dance and is built on some of the same rules… Lightness of touch and living in the moment are intertwined. When the heart is flooded with love there is no room in it for fear, for doubt, for hesitation. (page 104-106)
“…each cycle of the tide is valid; each cycle of the wave 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.” (page 110)
Should you take the time to pick up this book while visiting the shore, please tell us about your favorite parts in the comment space below or on my Facebook Page.
If you have not taken the time to “like” my Pages From Joan page on Facebook, please do today! If you enjoy a post, share it with the ones you love. Make TODAY a blessed day.
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean. Lee Ann Womack, I Hope You Dance
And if you cannot get away to the shore or need to plan a ‘staycation’ at home, try some of these ideas, pictured below from the June 2016 issue of the O Magazine.