Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Review: Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

book 4 of 5 for the Classics Challenge 09
book 2 of 5 for the Non-Fiction Five Challenge 09
genre: non-fiction
rating: 5/5

I remember seeing this book upon my mother's shelf when I was a child. The title intrigued me, I always wanted to find pictures of the sea inside and I wondered what sort of gift the sea could give. There weren't any pictures and the text didn't interest me, so I would always put it back a little disappointed.

Now that I am a woman and a mother, I found great wisdom in the text and I know now the gifts that the sea gave to Lindbergh, intangible and yet so vibrant and applicable. The sea and a few small precious beach treasures help her to look deeper into herself, to find what she can do to make her life a more simple and profound thing. She wants to be able to move with the flow of life, like the tide, ever willing to change and adapt, willing to let something new become the norm until some other new stage comes along.

Her writing is more than lyrical, it is profound and effortless. She sets the struggles in our lives out on a blank slate and reconciles them with the necessity of living in the here and now seeing those struggles in the context of a greater purpose. I loved her discussions of the ebb and flow of marriage and other relationships and how desperately important it is for each individual to find time alone to ponder and reflect, to fill up our wells once again so that, especially as mothers, we have enough to give to those around us that need us. And with that thought, I will end this with a quote:
Now, instead of planting our solitude with our own dream blossoms, we choke the space with continuous music, chatter, and companionship to which we do not even listen. It is simply there to fill the vacuum. When the noise stops there is no inner music to take its place. We must re-learn to be alone.

13 comments:

bermudaonion said...

This sounds fantastic!

Tricia said...

Sounds like a must-read!

Lisa said...

I recently got this from paperbackswap but the cover is SO unappealing that I shelved it instead of reading it. Perhaps I should rethink that, thanks for the review.

Sarah Laurence said...

Good review. This is one of my favorite books - a comfort read I return to time and again. My mother recommended it to me when I was an adult. Now that I'm a mother, it resonates all the more. I keep it by my bedside.

Betsey said...

Kari gave me this book years ago, but I have never read it. Maybe I should pull it out and put it on the nightstand.

Beth F said...

Wow! Sounds really good.

Melissa said...

Just passing on some love...

Diane said...

I loved this one when i read it!

Michelle said...

Sounds like a book I would enjoy very much. Thanks for the great review!

Veens said...

Lovely header :)
and this is and this is such a lovely book :) that i would love to have ")

Jess said...

Just found your blog at MMB. Love it!

Dawn Maria said...

I've read this book many times and plan to re-read again this month. What amazes me is how timely her advice to women (especially mothers) is today. She wrote this in the 50's and her words resonate powerfully in the 21st. century.

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