Wednesday, May 05, 2010


I am re-reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "A Gift From the Sea" right now. Actually, I just finished it, and I plan to re-re-read it, because it is speaking to me so deeply and profoundly.

I don't want to write a book review here, but if you are a woman who is seeking balance in her life, and you're finding yourself running around like mad, and you wonder how life got this crazy, then this book is like a soft breeze from the ocean. It was just what I needed. It has nothing saccharine about it, and it manages to be deeply philosophical and restful at the same time.

The book is infiltrating my dreams, and the dreams are beautiful. In these dreams, I'm running on beaches, discovering beautiful shells, walking alone in the beauty of a beach day. Most of my dreams this year have been nightmares, and this is a gift like I can not describe.

This morning, I took Shep for an overdue walk (when I have surgery the poor boy is neglected), and headed to a favorite beach of mine. I tied Shep up (no dogs on beaches in Seattle was a good excuse for the true solitude; he could see me from where he was), and walked on the beach by myself for fifteen minutes, looking for shells. I found all kinds of lovely bits to take home with me, but not the exact shell that I was looking for. This is excellent, because it will remind me to keep looking for it.

I found a tidepool with two small sea anenomes, green fingers outstretched, and a hermit crab in a beautiful shell beside them. The beach had waves of red seaweed on it, and the color contrast was just so striking. I found two perfect white stones.

My to do list is as long as ever. Laundry is perpetual. I've already done the Tessa routine, and gone grocery shopping, and put things away, and made myself lunch. I'm still deeply tired, and in a few weeks if I'm not well then we will start exploring chronic fatigue syndrome - there must be SOME reason that I'm so wiped out. The garden calls, and the house needs dusting, and so on and so on.

But I am taking more time for myself. Walking Shep was good, but walking by myself on a beach is better. Like Lindbergh says, the shells are a reminder of my true self. I am the girl who walks on empty beaches.

I'm doing my old bedtime rituals again, too. Hot baths, candles, herbal tea, poetry. I love to fluff up my pillow, put on pretty pajamas, and crawl into bed an hour before I intend to fall asleep. Books, classical music (I'm particularly into Beethoven right now), poetry. And sometimes, just silence, and watching the candle flicker.

I plan to spend my life looking for seashells.

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