The problem is not merely one of Woman and Career, Woman and the Home, Woman and Independence. It is more basically: how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain balanced, no mater what centrifugal forces tend to pull one off center; how to remain strong, no matter what shocks come in at the periphery and tend to crack the hub of the wheel. What is the answer? There is no easy answer, no complete answer. I have only clues, shells from the sea. -From Gift From The Sea, page 29-
Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s slim book of essays, Gift From The Sea, was first published in 1955. Her work within the pages of this book was inspired during a short vacation she took by herself to an island – a place where she communed with the wide expanse of the sea, the star-filled nights, the sandy beaches and the empty shells of mysterious ocean life. Lindbergh contemplates love and marriage, solitude, and inner strength, using shells as metaphor for how to live our lives.
Simplification of outward life is not enough. It is merely the outside. But I am starting with the outside. I am looking at the outside of my life – the shell. The complete answer is not to be found on the outside, in an outward mode of living. This is only a technique, a road to grace. The final answer, I know, is always inside. -From Gift From the Sea, page 35-
If it is woman’s function to give, she must be replenished too. But how? Solitude, says the moon shell. Every person, especially every woman, should be alone sometime during the year, some part of each week, and each day. -From Gift From the Sea, page 48-
The book gives a unique insight into a time in history for women. The 50s housewife was just beginning to see the possibilities for herself, and Lindbergh captures that eagerness. She also inserts a warning to women not to forget where their strength lies – inside.
But, in our recent efforts to emancipate ourselves, to prove ourselves the equal of man, we have, naturally enough perhaps, been drawn into competing with him in his outward activities, to the neglect of our own inner springs. -From Gift From the Sea, page 48-
Gifts From the Sea is a timeless classic. I highlighted many passages which are still relevant to today’s world. Lindbergh writes with a beauty and wisdom, a poetic style which draws the reader in.