Women Over 50—Gifts of the Second Season

Posted on April 1, 2008. Filed under: Inspiring Each Other | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


I love the book, Gift From the Sea. Although it was originally written in the 1950s, Anne Morrow Lindbergh exhibited a life-force and style that was far ahead of her time. Or, maybe not. Perhaps, I’m just flaunting the bravado and self-indulgent pride we boomers are known for. Maybe our mothers and the women of their age group were not as housebound and repressed as we imagined. Maybe they knew secrets at midlife that might prove important lessons for each one of us. At any rate, Lindbergh certainly did.

Having known great tragedy in her life, the kidnapping and murder of her twenty-month-old son, she must have experienced her share of soul searching. This reflects beautifully in her writing; there is a depth of spirit and self-revelation on every page.

Gift From the Sea is about women, relationships, and growing older—all examined through comparison to various seashells. Throughout, Lindbergh reminds us of the gifts we often overlook, but which are so essential to our nature and inner wellbeing.

Describing midlife, she writes: “We Americans, with our terrific emphasis on youth, action, and material success, certainly tend to belittle the afternoon of life and even to pretend it never comes. We push the clock back and try to prolong the morning, over-reaching and over-straining ourselves in the unnatural effort… In our breathless attempts we often miss the flowering that waits for afternoon.”

I treasure this passage and I treasure this book. As I look at the pages, yellowed with time, it is a true gift. It was my mother’s and I inherited it after she died. Yes, perhaps she did have her own important secrets at midlife and, now, she’s passing these down to me.



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8 Responses to “Women Over 50—Gifts of the Second Season”

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Sounds like an absolute gem of a book, one I would like to get my hands on.
Will do a google search and see what I can find! Thanks for sharing this information-

Debbie Stevens

Eileen, I enjoyed your review. It sounds like a lovely book any baby boomer would appreciate.


Thank you for telling us how to find your new posts, because I was visiting and not finding them.

What a treasure you mother passed along to you in this book. The quote is really something we, at mid-life, need to grab hold of. Aging with grace includes realizing we aren’t thirty-something anymore, even though we are the same inside. This is the best time of my life, though it includes carrying around a few more pounds and gravity having it’s way. I have beauty marks of life stamped on my face (and other hidden places), that’s what gives us character. We should be envied by the young. They should all want to be just like us.

This is a book I’d like to read – I particularly love the comment about “flowering that waits for afternoon.”
I know that I am richer in experience, more well rounded, more tolerant of some things and less tolerant of others and freer than I was at any other time in my life.

As a willing participant of the Super Woman era, I am now caught in the middle. Mentoring, as well as competing with the up and comers, and at the same time looking forward to the “afternoon of life,” when schedules are flexible and deadlines are forgiven. I truly believe baby boomers will continue to change the tenor of aging, and I relish the experience. Can’t wait to find copy of this book. — Virginia Livingston

My brother-in-law gave me the book a number of years ago when my children were young and I was feeling forgotten as a woman. I found sustenance in it then. I need to revisit it now to help me as I make my way through my fifties.

I have enjoyed exploring this site. I will certainly be back. I am going to add you to my blogroll. Thanks for sharing.


I remember reading A GIFT FROM THE SEA a few years ago and appreciate the reminder of its message. One of the things I love to do is pass on books once I read them and this was one of those that I gave to my friend Linda… I am going to ask her if she gave it to someone and if so who and try to find out who has it today! Now wouldn’t that be something?

Have a great day… thanks for sharing you with us.

Warmest regards,

Heidi Richards Mooney, Publisher
WE Magazine for Women

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