Women Then and Now

As a fan of Hoda Kotb, I try to watch The Today Show now and then when the opportunity presents itself. Recently, I was lucky to find a wonderful moment of solitude enticing me to indulge in an episode. During this segment she discussed a book called “Gift from the Sea.” The book was originally published in 1955. In the first 20 years of print, five-million copies were sold. It’s an amazing book that describes the author, Anne Morrow Lindbergh‘s thoughts on love, relationships and the self.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh was the wife of Charles Lindbergh. He is best known for taking the first transatlantic flight on his own in 1927. During a trip to Latin America he met Anne Morrow then married her in 1929. Soon after they started their own family. Misfortune came into their home when their 20-month old son was kidnapped and ransomed for $50,000. Sadly, weeks later, the infant’s body was found deceased in the woods.

Mrs. Lindbergh proceeded to live a life of many adventures. She also went on to have five more children. An aviator, successfully obtaining a glider’s pilot license she enjoyed many travels with her husband up until his death in 1974. She dedicated the next 25 years as an author publishing her diaries. She set roots later in life as a resident of Darien, CT. The author wrote several books, “Gift from the Sea” was one of her most well-known works. She passed in 2001 at the age of 94.

The book is a collection of essays detailing the complicated emotions of the author. A wife and mother who had given all of herself describing her journey to spiritual balance. She expressed thoughts about the complexities of womanhood. We play numerous roles but don’t always feel fulfilled in our lives. As a modern woman, it was enlightening to read essays written decades ago reflecting many of the same issues we battle with in today’s society. Mrs. Lindbergh’s desire to achieve personal fulfillment is similar to one we continue to pursue in current times. We ask ourselves, what remains once we’ve move passed the mission of child rearing and taking care of others? We spend years in a juggling act that forces us to live a life in pieces. We grab moments here and there to satisfy our soul. Feeding the spirit in any way possible with books, music, writing, spending time with family and friends while watching everyone live their dreams until we can catch up. Towards the end of the book, she emphasizes the significance of embracing the internal and external journey as a woman. Each phase of our life cycle exists to teach us a lesson.

Women must find their equilibrium. We need to continuously do the work throughout our entire lives. It is constant self-examination. But essential to take the steps alone to find our center, regardless of where the path may lead.

My readings helped me understand that the difference between women then and now is not completely independent of one another. Although, we have come quite far, there is still much for us to conquer.

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