I just finished reading Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and found it to be both beautifully written, and inspiring. I was particularly interested in the author's thoughts on the work-relationships- motherhood balancing act. The author addresses this issue with the voice of a modern woman, although she penned the book over fifty years ago.
The sea shell/phases of life metaphor is very tangible. I think it is amazing and inspiring to see a woman who endured the heartache of losing a child tragically live out the rest of her life with strength, hope, and a submission to change.
"One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach- waiting for a gift from the sea." (11)
The author reflects on the changing shape of her life and admits a desire to be at peace with herself. She reflects on what it means to "live in grace." There are times in life when one feels in-sync and other times out-of-sync. She emphasizes the need for simplification in order to find grace.
"What a circus act we women perform every day of our lives. It puts the trapeze artist to shame. Look at us. We run a tight rope daily, balancing a pile of books on the head. Baby carriage, parasol, kitchen chair, still under control. Steady now!"(20)
That is an accurate description of me! I always thought that staying home raising a family would be easier than being a working woman without children. However, it turns out that dedicating my time to the development of little people is the most challenging job ever. It is a sacrifice that completely transforms me, when I let it. My children make me a better person.
Focusing on them entirely, at this point in my life, has forced me to slow down and reflect on the type of person I am becoming. They are my mirror. They police me. Gift From the Sea reminded me that the sacrifice to family and the home is temporary, and I must be alert to the lessons and joys of this moment in my life. Change will come again soon enough. What a great book, ...(and I can't wait to take the beach for granted again this summer).