Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

Why do I display my shells in the window sill in the living-room? Why do I cherish and collect them? Probably because to me they represent the jewels of the nature and one of the greatest wonders. Maybe they remind me of floating face down in tropical water snorkeling long time ago, or the inner peace when wandering alone on the beach picking them. Each and every self-collected shell brings back a good memory.

Of course now there are restrictions for picking shells, rules we must respect according to the laws of nature. But luckily there are still places where it is possible to collect.

Some years ago a friend recommended this beautiful, meditative book “ Gift from the sea” and I was thrilled when I finally got hold of a used copy in Norwegian. The book has followed me since.


Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

In this beloved and wise book from 1955 the author Anne Morrow Lindbergh is drawing inspiration from the shells on the shore. She shares her meditations on youth and age; love and marriage; peace, solitude and contentment as she set them down during a vacation by the sea. The book is translated into 45 languages.

“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.”  GIFT FROM THE 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.” GIFT FROM THE SEA

The book can be ordered (used) in  Norwegian “Gave fra havet”, Swedish “Gåva från havet” and Danish “Gaven fra havet”  from the Nordic English versions “Gift from the sea” (new) from here.


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