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Gift from the Sea: 50th Anniversary Edition

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

50th ANNIVERSARY EDITION - With meditations on youth and age, love and marriage, peace, solitude, and contentment, here is an inimitable classic that guides us to find a space for contemplation and... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Observations on life, women's roles, and purpose

The title may be Gift from the Sea but it's Anne Morrow Lindbergh's gift to all who are searching for answers as they move through Life. Lindbergh's observations touch the heart and mind as she sifts through feelings about her role as wife, mother, daughter, friend. It allows you to follow and note where you and her merge in thought or feelings. Do NOT rush through. Take the time to read one chapter to reflect upon her observations and questions. This is a great book for a book group to discuss and take to heart what the group says as they follow through the chapters. A very challenging life in the private eye makes for many questions. I've given this book to friends for it covers a wide range of emotions, ideas, and baggage some women may be packing.


Anne Morrow Lindbergh could teach today's modern woman a wealth of knowledge on fulfillment and the balancing act of motherhood, wife and self. She has come to understand, the importance of finding peace and happiness within yourself, before you can share those qualities with others. Anne was, indeed, in her simplistic approach to life, a woman light-years ahead of her time. She had discovered, long before self-help books were fashionable, the ultimate joys and pleasures of a simplistic lifestyle, the richness of spiritual well being, and the importance of inner peace. Written in a unique, vibrant, flowing style, this book says in a lot less words what dozens of other self-help books set out to accomplish in long-winded, psycho-analytic terminology. "Gift from the Sea" is truly a gift from the soul of a woman with great wisdom and inner beauty, and one which you will long remember. Another book I would highly recommend is, "A Year by the Sea" by Joan Anderson.

marvelous exploration of the human condition

Based on its reputation as one of the seminal works of Feminism and a callow belief that the author was merely riding her husband's coattails to fame, this is a book that I have pretty studiously avoided. As it turns out, that was a colossal mistake on my part. This little book contains more interesting and compelling thoughts on the nature of human relationships, particularly the marriage relationship, than just about any other book I've ever read.It's not possible to address them all here, but here are two ideas that I found particularly striking. Here is a passage describing a quality marriage: A good relationship has a pattern like a dance, and is built on some of the same rules. The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but gay and swift and free, like a country dance of Mozart's. To touch heavily would be to arrest the pattern and freeze the movement, to check the endlessly changing beauty of its unfolding. There is no place here for the possessive clutch, the clinging arm, the heavy hand, only the barest touch is assign. Now arm in arm, now face to face, now back to back - it does not matter which. Because they know they are partners moving to the same rhythm, creating a pattern together, and being invisibly nourished by it. The joy of such a pattern is not only the joy of creation or the joy of participation, it is also the joy of living in the moment. Lightness of touch and living in the moment are intertwined. When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.This image, of a loving couple as partners in a dance, not gripped in a hammer lock, but tracing a unified pattern via different steps, just seems profound to me. We all know people who demand of love that it be unchanging

A Roadmap for One's Life Journey

After watching _The Spirit of St. Louis_ one afternoon, my boyfriend (who is also a pilot) told me that Anne Morrow Lindbergh had written a book, which, as he was told, "every woman should read." The next time I went to his house, _Gift from the Sea_ was waiting for me. What amazed me about this book was its timeliness, or should I say, timelessness. That a middle-aged Caucasian woman, writing during the 50's, could strike such a deeply-felt chord of sisterhood with me, a 30-something African-American woman living at the brink of a new millennium, is truly the mark of a gifted writer. We "enlightened, liberated" women of the year 2000 think, with a fair amount of condescension, that we have "progressed" so much from that time period. And yet, the issues Mrs. Lindbergh addressed are still very much with us today: how does a woman fulfill the roles of citizen, artist, wife/partner, mother, career person, friend, sibling/relative, and balance all of that with the time and self-commitment for spiritual/emotional nurturing?I have a quote from this precious gift posted on the wall at my workstation; it is a state of being I seek as a humble pilgrim on life's journey:"...I want first of be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact - to borrow from the language of the saints - to live "in grace" as much of the time as possible...By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony...I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God..."This is a must read for women everywhere!

Every page is a delicious retreat, a vacation for the soul.

Not a book to race through! To be read slowly, alone, savored, re-read, meditated and mused on, with contentment. And if you can't find contentment, it will find you -- in Anne's words -- her gift from the sea. Anne Morrow Lindbergh's thoughts are woven around her impressions gathered from her ocean-side stay away from society and civilization -- from people and things -- from noise and confusion -- from musts and don'ts. What Anne discovers in her solitude at the beach, she offers to you the reader by way of her journal. The tiny shells she held and studied provide lessons to her and all of us. Anne's musings about life, relationships, love, busy-ness, aging, simplicity and solitude came to me several years ago at a time I was re-assessing many things in my life. Like a grace, her words soothed me and helped me quiet my turbulent thoughts, and to gather my inmost spirit to bind the wounds, to fill myself with the good already all around me and to go forward. I realized I could slow down my pace, choose my own path, ask for and expect some peace and quiet and harmony, because these gifts are there for all of us to enhance our lives. Although written from a woman's perspective, Anne's gift from the sea is for all of us who hunger for the slower pace, the garden path, the sanctity in God's every creation down to the intricate sea shell in Anne's hand as she coddles it, examines its artistic swirls and ridges and colors, and listens to the lessons -- the homilies -- within its delicate curves. A keeper of a book. You'll go back to this one, like to a favorite vacation hideaway or armchair by the fireside or corner in the garden under the stars. It'll be an old friend, a comfort and blessing. Take a deep breath......Can you just smell the salty tang of those soft breezes off the ocean
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