Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Pantheon, 144 pages
Anne Morrow Lindbergh was a writer and aviator. She was married to Charles Lindbergh, and together, they had six children. Understandably exhausted from her busy life, Lindbergh travelled to Florida’s Captiva Island to spend some time alone. She walked on the beach, relaxed in the simple beauty of her surroundings, and reflected on what her life had become. Gift from the Sea is a stream-of-consciousness account of her musings during that time, and its messages speak as truthfully about womanhood today as they did when the book was first published in 1955.
Lindbergh basks in the tranquility of pared-down living, which she appreciates precisely because the experience is so rare. Her regular life is busy and noisy, spent satisfying the needs of her family, looking after domestic obligations, and working. She observes that women give so much in so many different areas of their lives, and the natural result is that their energy drains away and they begin to forget who they are as people. To replenish their inner reserve, Morrow suggests that women set aside some time every day to engage in creative activity alone. She stresses the importance of retaining a strong sense of self in marriage and motherhood, and reminds the reader to accept the inevitable fluidity of life.
Gift from the Sea is a feminist classic, characterized by timeless wisdom and excellent writing.