I’m rereading some quotes I copied out of Anne Morrow’s Gift From the Sea. This is one beautiful book. It is hard to imagine sometimes that she wrote this in the 1950s because her take on things then seems so relevant today. Her style of writing is soothing, melodic, delightful.
She reflects on the time she has on vacation taken at the beach where there are fewer distractions than at home where one tends to be so busy. She writes:
Here there is time; time to be quiet; time to work without pressure; time to think; time to watch the heron, watching with frozen patience for his prey. Time to look at the stars or to study a shell; time to see friends, to gossip, to laugh, to talk. Time, even, not to talk. . . . Here on the island I find I can sit with a friend without talking, sharing the day’s last sliver of pale green light, or the dark scar left in a dazzling night sky by a shooting star. Then communication becomes communion and one is nourished as one never is by words.
Beautiful. And what a treasure we give ourselves when we take time for this kind of vacation, withdrawal, repose. But we hardly ever do it. So interesting to me that she had the same problem so many years ago:
I remember again, ironically that today more of us in America than anywhere else in the world have the luxury of choice between simplicity and complication of life. And for the most part, we, who could choose simplicity, choose complication.
I could go into some of the reasons we choose complication and consequent lack of time, but it doesn’t matter why. Just a pity we shoot ourselves in the foot this way.