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Gift From The Sea

I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living. - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Being conscious of living. No truer words for a writer. It makes me wonder in what ways non-writers are "conscious of living." If it's akin to a gardener working in her garden. Or a chef creating new arrangements in his kitchen. Or an architect designing something both old and new.

I stumbled across Gift from the Sea and was curious if it held more nuggets like the above quote. It was written during a solo vacation at the beach in which various shells and lack of time constraints helped Anne reflect on the life of American women and the different stages they go through. For the most part, I found her description insightful, despite being written in the 1950's. She talks of things we need more of today - simplicity, solitude, a daily balance of the physical, intellectual, and spiritual. But the part I found most interesting was her exploration of women's experience in caring for a home and family. (Naturally, as I'm currently in the thick of it).

Here's just one example. Anne believes that "woman instinctively wants to give, yet resents giving herself in small pieces. [But it's] not so much giving herself in pieces as giving herself purposelessly." In caring for a home and family, the results of the perpetual giving are often invisible and can therefore start to feel purposeless...particularly when we don't carve out time for solitude.

The style of Gift from the Sea is reflective of the calm, expansive setting where the book was composed. And it's short - 130 pages including an introduction by her daughter, and a reflection from Anne on the 50th anniversary edition of the book.

Brevity of commitment and a breath of calm air - I thought that sounded like a perfect book to recommend to any tired, busy mamas out there. *wink*

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