Grace and I collected shells a couple of weeks ago at the beach.  We are thinking of making a wreath of them (though that may well exceed my limited crafting abilities).  We found several of these shimmery ones, and I sat and turned this one over in my hands, marveling at the subtle ways it gleamed in the light, at its edges, rounded, softened, worn from their time in the ocean’s whitewater, at the fact that this is the inside of the shell (which reminds me of the hidden geode glittering).  I’ve always loved shells, and for some reason the humble beauty of this one struck me.

This shell, and some of the others jumbled in our pail, reminded me of one of my favorite books Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea.  Lindbergh’s book contains beautiful meditations on shells and tides, on what it means to be alive in this world, on womanhood and identity.  I haven’t read it in years and I think it’s time to revisit it.

12 thoughts on “Shell”

  1. “Gift From the Sea” is one of my favorite books. The first time I read it I didn’t get very far. Too young, the subject didn’t interest me. But I returned to it later, after a couple of kids and life experience and couldn’t put it down.

    At our home we scatter shells across the dining room table, intermingling them with candles and stones. I’m not sure I have the patience for a wreath, but I like the ritual of decorating a table and remembering time at the shoreline.

  2. I just read “Gift from the Sea” on my own vacation! At the home of an old dear friend. It really does resonate at this time of life…

    (and hope to see you soon!)

  3. The book of quotes I have that you gave me in college is filled with quotes from that book… it’s definitely a treasure… both of them! xo

  4. Gift of the Sea sounds like exactly the kind of book I need to read before the summer is out. Thanks for the recommendation. Beautiful picture by the way – simple and lovely.

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