30 Jul The Sea Rewards those who Wait
As Anne Morrow Lindbergh opens her lovely book, Gift from the Sea, the reader is immediately drawn into the rhythm of the ocean, the gentle sounds of the sea slapping at the shore. On a rare vacation, alone, away from her many responsibilities as wife of famous aviator, Charles Lindbergh, and mother of five children, Anne relishes solitude and the simple sights and sounds around her. Like all vacations, however, it takes the author some time to settle in.
Funny isn’t it? That our lives are so scheduled, often so harried, we actually have to allow for “transition” time when we commence a vacation. I’ve been known to proclaim “tens days”, maybe two weeks, as the perfect length for a get-away: two or three days to relax, adjust to life minus mundane responsibilities and the unrelenting call of various duties, followed by a week of fun, fun, fun. By then, we’re usually ready to head home and resume our “real lives.”
Anne is no different. She says of the first week at her island cottage, “At first, the tired body takes over completely…One is forced against one’s mind, against all tidy resolutions, back into the primeval rhythms of the seashore…One falls under their spell, relaxes, stretches out prone…”
But she goes on to say this of the second week: “And then, some morning in the second week, the mind wakes, comes to life again. Not in a city sense–no–but beach-wise. It begins to drift, to play, to turn over in gentle careless rolls like those lazy waves on the beach. One never knows what chance treasures these easy unconscious rollers may toss up, on the smooth, white sand of the conscious mind..”
In other words, after a week spent leaving the old life behind, bending, falling into the open and relaxed state of vacation, creativity kicks in. But Anne cautions against looking too hard for that magical state, saying, “It must not be sought for or–heaven forbid–dug for. No, no dredging of the sea bottom here. That would defeat one’s purpose. The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith…”