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Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift

Getty Images / Archive Photos / Chicago History Museum

Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, like her husband Charles Lindbergh, was an accomplished pilot. She received many awards, honors and hall of fame spots for her work as a pioneer female aviator.

As if being a role model to generations of female pilots wasn’t enough, Lindbergh was also an award-winning author and prolific writer of poetry and non-fiction. Her Gift From the Sea became a classic of inspirational literature. Written six decades ago, its meditations on life, generated by shells picked up at the beach, still captivate readers today. On the anniversary of Lindbergh’s death, we’re remembering a few of our favorite passages from her best-loved book.

“One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can only collect a few. One moon shell is more impressive than three. There is only one moon in the sky.”

“The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere.”

“When you love someone you do not love them, all the time, in the exact same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships.”

“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after.”

“I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before.”

“No man is an island,' said John Donne. I feel we are all islands—in a common sea.”

“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. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.”

Lindbergh rose above a life that included great hardships – the much-publicized kidnapping and murder of her son among them – to give us her own gift. We’re grateful for her gift of encouragement, in the form of her wise words and her groundbreaking achievements.