Monday, January 17, 2011

Some Seashells and a Grain of Sand

I've been having an ocean craving lately. In light of that, I'm not sure if my library book choice was fortuitous or a really big mistake. I had an Anne Morrow Lindbergh moment this week (the Hubs had just finished reading a book about the Lindbergh kidnapping) and picked up Gift from the Sea for my non-fiction read. Although now I'm even more desperate for the sound of the surf and wish I was close friends with a beach front home owner, this book may be adding itself to my list of all time favourites. At the very least, it gave me a lot to think about.

Lindbergh's book is a collection of thoughts on life, marriage, family, and, especially, the woman. It's simple and unpretentious while still achieving the poetic and philosophical, plus it has those perfect nuggets of thought that are so fun to pull out and quote. I'll give you one of the most thought-provoking:

"Women, who used to complain of loneliness, need never be alone any more. We can do our housework with soap-opera heroes at our side. Even day-dreaming was more creative than this; it demanded something of oneself and it fed the inner life. Now, instead of planting our solitude with our own dream blossoms, we choke the space with continuous music, chatter, and companionship to which we do not even listen. It is simply there to fill the vacuum. When the noise stops there is no inner music to take its place. We must re-learn to be alone."
This is a constant challenge for me, as a woman, as a wife, and as a mother. I used to relish my alone time, the blossoming of my own inner life. But I have seen in the last few months a desperate attempt to cram the silence full of noise. Unfortunately, it's in that necessary silence that the voice of God can be heard most clearly. How do we re-learn? Perhaps it's by taking the time to remember what it used to be, or to sit in the company of one who has already attained, or to walk along the sea shore and allow the wide open expanse to seep back inside our souls. Or maybe all it takes is an early morning alarm followed by a cup of coffee and some time to think and pray before the world wakes up.


  1. I like your application at the end. :-) And I don't see you filling your days up with noise. Don't you have daily quiet times to listen and think? Did I ever tell you about David Hassell telling me in college that I needed to learn to think? And I did and am thankful for his constructive criticism. I'm proud of my Marian who continues to grow in wisdom. Love you, Mom PS. You don't need to grow in stature too!

  2. I want to go on a walk on the beach with you and our babes.