Gifts from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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” Simplicity of living, as much as possible, to retain a true awareness of life. Balance of physical, intellectual and spiritual life. Work without pressure. Space for significance and beauty. Time for solitude and sharing. Closeness to nature to strengthen understanding and faith in the intermittency of life: life of the spirit, creative life, and the of life human relationships” .

I cannot help but pick up Lindbergh’s timeless classic ‘Gifts from the Sea’ and find the book a calming read. My small pocket sized edition is printed on thick creamy paper and has been on my desk for many years. Not only is it a beautiful read but it also contains messages of simplicity and solitude that are shared themes of Unwind and Let Go.The setting for the book is an island beach full of shells close to where Lindbergh is staying in a small beach cottage. Her days there are peaceful. Daily life involves walks, bike rides and occasional household chores. She  escapes from the hub-bub of real life by walking along the seashore, listening to the waves and lying under the stars at night. As her days drift on, she starts to carefully collect shells from the beach including a Channeled Whelk, an Oyster shell, a Moon shell and an Argonaut that will become keepsakes and reminders for when she returns to her home in Connecticut.

Once at home she will strive to lead a simple life and try not to accumulate too much but to consider how little instead of how much she can get by with, in order to make do. And in seeking solitude from the hustle and bustle of life, she will try to be alone at least daily or weekly or even to take a holiday by herself once a year, so that she can be ‘inwardly attentive‘. There will be times when the ebb and flow of life will require her to remain strong  “no matter what shocks come in at the periphery and tend to crack the hub of the wheel”.   Like the troughs of a wave, there will be ups and downs whether in life, in relationships or in day to day living.  But with patience, faith and openness, the tides will turn, the waves will become constant and the beauty that is the sea of life will return.

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Author: unwindandletgo@gmail.com

Emer Maria Kielhorn lives and works in Dublin with her husband and two cats.

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