Gift from the Sea

Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s reflections on a woman’s life were matured in active years of family living and stimulated by conversations with men and women who experience the same problems and feel the same need for assessing the true values of life.

The setting of her book is the sea shore; the time, a brief vacation which had lifted her from the distractions of everyday existence into the sphere of meditation.  As the sea tosses up its gifts – shells rare and perfect – so the mind, left to its ponderings, brings up its own treasures of the deep.  And the shells become symbols here for the various aspects of life she is contemplating.

In a blend of complete sincerity and delicacy, so uniquely her own, Anne Morrow Lindbergh shares with the reader her awareness of the many frustrating elements we face today: the restlessness, the unending pressures and demands, the denial of leisure and silence, the threat to inner peace and integration, the uneasy balance of the opposites, man and woman.  With radiant lucidity she makes visible again the values of the inner life, without which there is no true fulfillment.  She does this without the overtones of preaching, but herself as a seeker, echoing – only clearer and stronger – our own small still voice.

the lost art of solitude

here’s another great post from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits

You don’t need to be a monk to find solitude, nor do you need to be a hermit to enjoy it.

Solitude is a lost art in these days of ultra-connectedness, and while I don’t bemoan the beauty of this global community, I do think there’s a need to step back from it on a regular basis.

Some of my favorite activities include sitting in front of the ocean, still, contemplating … walking, alone with my thoughts … disconnecting and just writing … finding quiet with a good novel … taking a solitary bath.

Don’t get me wrong: I love being with loved ones, and walking with a friend or watching the sunset with my wife or reading a book with my child are also among my absolute favorite things in the world.

But solitude, in these days as much as ever, is an absolute necessity.

The Benefits of Solitude

The best art is created in solitude, for good reason: it’s only when we are alone that we can reach into ourselves and find truth, beauty, soul. Some of the most famous philosophers took daily walks, and it was on these walks that they found their deepest thoughts.

My best writing, and in fact the best of anything I’ve done, was created in solitude.

Just a few of the benefits I’ve found from solitude:

  • time for thought
  • in being alone, we get to know ourselves
  • we face our demons, and deal with them
  • space to create
  • space to unwind, and find peace
  • time to reflect on what we’ve done, and learn from it
  • isolation from the influences of other helps us to find our own voice
  • quiet helps us to appreciate the smaller things that get lost in the roar