How come some books are ageless, meaning their content is valid for seemingly decades? A simple book generated over one summer, Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, is such a gem. Written in 1955, it holds truths, wisdom and relevance to this present time. Initially she was just writing down her own musings, gaining clarity for herself during a few contemplative weeks on her own, separate from her busy life as wife and mother. Getting away on one’s own in 1955 seems a progressive notion for all involved to make that happen. Out of her contemplative time came Gift from the Sea, where Anne compares her daily beach treasures such as moon shells, sunrises and oyster beds to human life and the challenges which are universal and still valid more than 65 years later. Few people take the time, or have the contemplative nature to see patterns, articulate them and then share them in ways that can be illuminating for others.
Here’s such a Gift from the Sea, page 37-38
…For it is not physical solitude that actually separates one from other (people), not physical isolation, but spiritual isolation. It is not the desert island nor the stony wilderness that cuts you from the people you love. It is the wilderness in the mind, the desert wastes in the heart through which one wanders lost and a stranger. When one is a stranger to oneself then one is estranged from others too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others…..Only when one is connected to one’s own core is one connected to others, I am beginning to discover. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be refound through solitude.