Although published in 1955, Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea reads as though it was written only yesterday. A very slender book that could likely be read in one short sitting, it is one I want to read slowly and thoughtfully. What she says already resonates with me quite deeply.
"But I want first of all--in fact, as an end to these other desires--to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations* and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact--to borrow from the language of the saints--to 'live in grace' as much of the time as possible. I am not using this term in a strictly theological sense. By grace I mean inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony. I am seeking perhaps what Socrates asked for in the prayer from Phaedrus when he said, 'May the outward and inward man be one'."
I lead a pretty quiet and often solitary life, but that doesn't mean it is not also filled (of late) with much inner turmoil. This is a good reminder to slow down and try to see the beauty in the smaller details of life and not be so overly critical of what isn't being achieved. Perhaps looking for happiness in the unexpected places. I don't expect Anne Morrow Lindbergh to give me life's answer's, but perhaps she'll help me set out on a path where I can find them for myself.
*AML: " . . . carry out my obligations to man and to the world, as a woman, as an artist, as a citizen".