Thursday, April 1, 2010

A book I LOVE

I have always enjoyed reading but I rarely read a book twice unless it is incredibly good and satisfies a number of specific requirements (ie. is filled with profound insights, makes me cry and changes my life). One of my favorite books is a small hardbound book called "gift from the sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I found it in a discard pile in a library when I was a teenager. I have cherished it over the years and have always given it a special place on my bookshelf. The copy I have was published in 1955 so it looks rather vintage. I will have to take a picture of it one of these days. I have lost count of how many times I have read this book, perhaps every year since I found it. Here is a quote from the chapter I read today:

"For to be a woman is to have interests and duties, raying out in all directions from the central mother-core, like spokes from the hub of a wheel. The pattern of our lives is essentially circular. We must be open to all points of the compass; husband, children, friends, home, community; stretched out, exposed, sensitive like a spider's web to each breeze that blows, to each call that comes. How difficult for us, then, to achieve a balance in the midst of these contradictory tensions, and yet how necessary for the proper functioning of our lives".

I love how she examines life from the viewpoint of a woman; its seasons, its challenges its joys. She is a mother of five children and every year she takes two weeks to stay in a cabin on a island to reflect and to write. In her book "gift from the sea" she examines the changing seasons of one's life and compares them to the various shells that she finds discarded on the beach. It is a marvelous read.

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