Gift from the Sea

Our four daughters and four daughters-in-law are preparing for a happy reunion this weekend in sunny California!  It will be such a welcome relief from the snow and cold of Boston and New York and the non-so toasty Washington D.C. Not to mention two of us who are coming from the depths of winter in Utah. One will be arriving from the sunny Arizona, two from Palo Alto and San Diego and one poor dear has to give up the lush beaches of Maui to be with us by other side of “the sea” in Southern California.

We adore being together and even though we love all love the delectable food that we always enjoy together we are even more hungry to talk about ideas and things we have loved reading this year. Each one is sending in her favorite post, article, essay or speech from the year that we can all read and then talk about while we eat.  Thanks to the Internet, it’s easy to share. In addition we always discuss a good book that we have all read (unless someone has had a new baby or a recent move).

This year I asked everyone to read a little gem of a book that I have loved ever since I was a young mother called Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  Amazingly, even though the book is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year the lessons in this short 130 page treasure of thought  about simplifying our lives and  finding time to be alone to really think about and plan our lives may be even more important today in an age of unimaginable multiplicity than it was fifty years ago.

Having lost a 20 month old son who was stolen from his crib and murdered, in her early marriage  to the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, Anne, who had gone on to have five more children, writes about what she has learned about life from the seashells that she has collected on the beach during a two week retreat at a sea-side cottage.

Her thoughts are fascinating. As I re-read this little gem, I realized that her ideas that I read all those years ago became part of the fabric of my life as a young mother and rekindled the desire to do better with the multiplicity of my new life as the children have left home. I highly recommend it for women of any age, with or without children. It is a delight!

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