Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sanity Saving Book - A Gift From the Sea

In times of stress or trouble, I always seek refuge in a book my mother discovered in her forties and shared with me in my twenties. A Gift From the Sea by Ann Morrow Linbergh. Now that I'm into my err-hmm late forties, I really appreciate this slim volume of a book even more. It may be a fast-read, but this book should NOT be taken lightly in terms of power and impact on the inner life. It's a strong antiobiotic for the soul.

It occurred to me, as part of my "Sanity Saving" series that I ought to share this book with others as well. Books have always been my solace, my best friends, and a way to explore, learn and grow.

When I'm stressed, somtimes I need comfort, like a soft blanket, a warm cup of coffee, a good book, or comfort foods. (Those get me in weight trouble though). The coffee, books and blanket are calorie-free and thus preferable. Other times when I'm stressed, what I really need is a good kick in the butt mentally to shake me out of it. This mental kick can be self-provided or can come from someone who loves me and wants to shake me out of self-pity or fear. That's a real friend for you, someone who can do that.

This book is both a comfort as well as a kick in the butt. So it satisfies both de-stressing criteria.

In Gift from the Sea Lindbergh writes about her annual vacation to her childhood summer cabin in Maine where she retreats alone each year, leaving her husband and five children for the sheer joy of being alone with her thoughts, her writing and the sea. Within this beach house backdrop, Lindbergh uses sea and shell metaphors to relate a series of essays that describe her life and help her sort through it. Though the book was written many decades ago, during the fifties if I'm not mistaken, the truths in the book ring as true, or truer, today than 50 years ago.

This book is about Lindbergh's search for simplicity within the complications of modern life: motherhood, marriage, jobs, and friends.

I am going to dig out my copy to read and inwardly get back to my own center at a bitterly cold time of year when I'm stressed and actually fantasizing about the ocean. I'm normally a cool-weather sort of gal, but right now, summer seems so welcome and the sound of the ocean is roaring in my head for some reason. I won't feel this way in July. Trust me!


smj523 said...

I totally agree about this's wonderful!

Catherine said...

How have I never read that book? Of course I've heard of it, but it was always pushed to the end of the "read it someday" list. Putting it on the top of the list now.

ChelleC said...

Yes, it's really a good one. It is a quick read too. I used to drag the essays out, and savor them one week at a time.

Elysbeth said...

Can I add a book to the Ravelry Queue? Nope, okay, on the Amazon list it goes.