Monday, October 4, 2010

A Gift From a New Friend is a Gift from the Sea.....

"I began these pages for myself, in order to think out my own particular pattern of living, my own individual balance of life, work and human relationships.  And since I think best with a pencil in my hand, I started naturally to write.  I had the feeling, when the thoughts first clarified on paper, that my experience was very different from other people's,  (Are we all under this illusion?) My situation had, in certain ways, more freedom than that of most people, and in certain other ways, much less."
                                    Anne Morrow Lindbergh, foreward from "Gift from the Sea"


So AML would be very pleased.  A book she began as a personal journal...has transcended time and 55 years later connects women together from all over the world.  Her opening words in a "Gift from the Sea" really resonated with me as they remind me of the reason I started my blog.  Like Anne, who started her book as a personal journal, I started my blog as my personal creative outlet.

What I didn't expect was that it would connect me with others who share the same life passions that I do.  What a wonderful thing this has been for me.....to meet such terrific people.

Recently, I learned about Karen from The Essential Beachcomber... actually through another blog - Shellbelle's Tiki Hut where Rhonda wrote a great post titled "The Other Shellebelle" who as it turns out was Karen.  I loved the post, joined Karen's blog and from there... we hit it off.  In learning more about Karen from her blog, I realized that we have much in common, especially our love of beach combing and shelling.  Karen did two posts in particular that I just loved and commented on.  The first one - was about her collecting shark's teeth that wash up on shore...and the second one was a fabulous post on "The Gift from the Sea".

I had never read this book - although being a seashell fanatic and a fan of Sanibel & Captiva Island....I knew it was a classic. Next thing I know - Karen offers to send me a copy as she had an extra one.  Of course, I accepted and when it arrived...I was so touched to receive an added surprise.....



Karen included a lovely label of a little girl on the beach pouring beautiful seashells out of her sand pail...which says It is the sweet, simple things of live which are the real ones after all.  

And my added surprise.....shark's teeth that had washed up on shore....




How nice was this?  She remembered I was intrigued by her shark teeth post - and sent me some along with the book.  What made it even more special - was that she is currently working on filling a jar - which takes some time - and she gave me some of these teeth instead of adding them to her jar.  I am still thinking about how I'm going to display these teeth in my home decor.  They are very cool, it's hard to imagine they were teeth...since they are very smooth and closely resemble tiger eyes.

So Karen's favorite chapter is Channelled Whelk.  Here is an excerpt that I selected:

"I mean to lead a simple life, to choose a simple shell I can carry easily - like a hermit crab.  But I do not.  I find that my frame of life does not foster simplicity.  My husband and five children must make their way in the world.  The life I have chosen as wife and mother entrains a whole caravan of complications. It involves a house in the suburbs and either household drudgery or household help which wavers between scarcity and non-existence for most of us.  It involves food and shelter; meals, planning, marketing, bills and making the ends meet in a thousand ways.  It involves not only the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker but countless other experts to keep my modern house with its modern "simplifications" (electricity, plumbing, refrigerator, gas-stove, oil-burner, dish-washer, radios, car and numerous other labor-saving devices) functioning properly.  It involves health; doctors, dentists, appointments, medicine, cod-liver oil, vitamins, trips to the drugstore.  It involves education, spiritual, intellectual, physical; schools, school conferences, car-pools, extra trips for basketball, or orchestra practice, tutoring, camps, camp equipment and transportation."

"Simplification of outward life is not enough.  It is merely the outside. But I am starting with the outside.  I am looking at the outside of a shell, the outside of my life - the shell. The complete answer is not to be found on the outside, in an outward mode of living.  This is only a technique, a road to grace. The final answer, I know, is always inside. But the outside can give a clue, can help one to find the inside answer.  One is free, like the hermit crab, to change one's shell".


It's amazing to think these words 
were written in 1955.



Thanks Anne - for connecting so many of us who otherwise would not have met - that is your true Gift from the Sea.



12 comments:

NanaDiana said...

What a beatiful post about friendship and connections. I am soo continually (and totally) amazed at how so many of our lives touch, in so many ways. What a blessing we are to each other. The older I get the more that I see how fine the lines are between our hearts and others that are like us...maybe not in every way but in all the ways that count. Hugs to you, my new Blog friend. I'd say someone out there thinks you are a special lady...and the gift proves it! Hugs- Diana

Cindy Adkins said...

What a beautiful gift...and love the shark teeth too! AML is an incredible writer...you will love her book and I don't know the name of her other one, but it's about their baby being kidnapped (who was never found.) It is unbelievable and timeless...she is a wealth of wisdom.
Hugs,
Cindy

Blooming Rose Musings said...

What a lovely gift and wonderful reading. It is amazing to me how wonderful friendships have developed through blogging. I think it has taken us out of our own immediate spaces and opened the world to us. You are a very special person and I can see that Karen is also very special. What a lovely and inspirational gift she has given you.

pam@ iLoveShelling said...

Such a wonderful book about shelling and about life. As a gift, it is so meaningful. I too met Karen this summer through blogging. She is so incredibly thoughtful and such a good, special person. We're all lucky to find each other through our passions.

Drawn to The Sea said...

What a dear thing to do... & all those shark's teeth, my goodness.

I read it sitting in a gazebo in the late afternoons after work (long ago). One chapter at a time, to let it sink in. Changing our shells... a timeless concept indeed.

Everything Coastal said...

Great post! Gift from the Sea is a book that I read about once a year, instantly calming. The last time I read it, I had just sold my house, packed up 16 years of my life and was sitting at the beach on the Washington coast with one of my best friends trying to breathe and figure out the next steps in my life. To me, Anne Lindbergh's journey is just like all of ours - struggling with our own passions and identities all the while trying to balance the demands of
our loved ones...

Dang.. where did I put my copy?

Carmie of the Single Nester said...

One of the best books EVER written. I try to read it every summer! A timeless classic!

Marie said...

How fantastic! Isn't the power of blogging amazing? You and Karen connected instantly just like that!!! Sounds like a lovely book.
-marie

Heaven's Walk - said...

Oh, Debbie....I can't believe that this is something ELSE we have in common, sweet friend. :) I read "Gift from the Sea" the very first year I vacationed on Sanibel and bought it at the little shop that used to be inside Captiva Inn by the restaurant. I read it slowly...one chapter at a time...with pink highlighter in hand. I was so taken with the wise words from AML that I read it again in case I missed something - and the book was washed in pink. I read it every year because as my eyes drink in her words...I can hear the tinkling of the shells on the sand as the waves roll over them.

I just bought "No More Words" by Reeve Lindbergh which is a journal of AML's daughter. Also "Return to the Sea" by Anne Johnson celebrates the 50th anniversary of "Gift from the Sea". I can hardly wait to cuddle in for the long winter and let these books take me back to the ocean...

Sandy hugs to you! xoxo laurie

Cindy said...

Simply great! My Mother gave me my copy of Gift of the Sea for Christmas 1989! The only way I remember that, is because she wrote a little something on the front page!

Love that Book!

Bella said...

What a lovely and completely thoughtful gift!! Those sharks teeth are amazing!
Bella

Donna said...

What a wonderful gift to receive! I have never read the book, though I have read other things written by her. How thoughtful of Karen to send you your very own copy, along with the shark's teeth!