I have been reading the most amazing little gem of a book….for the 3rd time. It is so simple yet profound…so full of wisdom and practical advice….and so full of natural beauty. It was written in 1955 by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of Charles Lindbergh, ‘Father of Flight’ Lindbergh. It is entitled: “Gift from the Sea”.
Mrs. Lindbergh was far ahead of her time when she wrote this book. It is a peaceful book. It is an enchanting book. It is also a quiet book. It is a story of a woman’s time spent at the beach. A story one reads and then re-reads, as I have done in the past and am doing now. Each time I do so I find yet another piece of long forgotten wisdom. I won’t provide any spoilers so you will just have to pick it up and read it for yourself. My advice, purchase the hardback version…if you are anything like me, it is a book you will find yourself pulling from your shelves through the years.
Here is a small teaser…a taste:
“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 a shell, 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. But the outside can give a clue, can help one to find the inside answer. One is free, like the hermit crab, to change one’s shell. Channelled whelk, I put you down again, but you have set my mind on a journey, up an inwardly winding spiral staircase of thought.”
Today after work, I felt myself longing for the beach. My little dog Benny Hill, a sprightly 42 year old (we are the same age currently)….I am talking dog years here folks…. anyway,my furry best friend was longing for an off leash excursion…a chance for him to run free and unencumbered. His brown eyes pleading, I realized that I too needed to roam free and unrestrained. Today was a gorgeous, “summer” day in San Francisco. October is our best month and the weather has been warm and lovely of late. I needed to capitalize on a fleeting moment and head west to Ocean Beach. I am so blessed as I can see the ocean from my bedroom window…a peek-a-boo shot of the Pacific Ocean. It is a quick train or car ride (about 30 blocks) from my flat. One would think I would be inclined to spend more time there however time is a funny thing, isn’t it?
I walked along the shore, feet in the sand, with my dear friend Michelle. She brought her poodle Glory along as well. We talked, watched the dogs chase both balls and sandpipers, talked about sanddollars, I shared about my memories spent at Pawley’s Island, South Carolina combing the beach for miles looking for shells with my mother, and we listened to the sounds of the choppy surf luring only the bravest of souls (i.e.: surfers) to its icy waters. 54 degrees year round makes not for the most pleasurable swimming excursion….unless you are wearing a thick Neoprine wet suit that is.
It was lovely. Even though the surf was rough and the wind was strong, it was calming to my soul. I am grateful. I feel peaceful this evening. Thank you Mr. Sea and thank you Michelle. I hope you enjoy some of my photos AND your evening (or day) wherever you may find yourself in this big world.
k i m b y