September 3, 2012

Life's a Beach, Write On and Dance

By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director

The Lindberghs fly to their cottage on Captiva Island, FL
Happy Labor Day! This holiday is my seasonal reminder that summer is over and the crunch of fallen leaves is around the corner. So before the summer magic is lost, remember how it felt when a hot breeze blows across your damp swimsuit. Pushing wet hair from your eyes, you exit the ocean; you bend and scoop up the latest wave-revealed Gulf treasure, a perfect seashell. Have you ever wondered about the travels of the ocean gift you hold in your palm? Sitting on a chaise lounge under a striped umbrella you don your sunglasses and watch a pair of dolphins gliding ten feet off shore. Water-colored cotton candy-like clouds meet the aqua-blue ocean horizon contrasting the seashell strode sand. Did you get beach time on your vacation this year or do you recall the bliss of time spent at the beach?

Beach time for me gives me peace and centering for my soul and brings a smile to my mind and face. I love the pace of quaint beach towns. “Island Time" allows for clarity of one's perspective. For that reason I think many writers have been drawn to the beach and islands to recharge and regroup.

Captiva Island, my favorite beach town, is where Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of the Charles Lindbergh walked. These beaches, in the 1940's and 50's, inspired her most famous work, Gift from the Sea. Published in 1955 and selling more than three million copies. She compared her life to seashells she found during her escape to the island. The kidnapping and murder of their first born was so tragic and is still the source of much speculation. Captiva's beaches helped this couple survive and escape the glare of the publicity that followed them throughout their lives.

Some of her quotes include, “It takes as much courage to have tried and failed as it does to have tried and succeeded.”
― Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can only collect a few. One moon shell is more impressive than three. There is only one moon in the sky.”
― Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

“I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before.”
― Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea      

As a beach lover, Anne planted herself in a “seashell of a house” along Captiva’s beaches, collected shells, and contemplated how they related to her life. Occasionally she recorded her Captiva moments, exalting the “miles of beach without other human life.”

When I view the breathtaking sunsets there on Captiva’s beaches, It reminds me of the song written by songwriters Tia Sillers and Mark D. Sanders, "I Hope You Dance".

"… when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance, I hope you dance
Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along
I hope you dance, I hope you dance
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder, where those years have gone?...
I hope you dance, I hope you dance”

Tia Sillers experienced a similar writing inspiration as Anne Morrow Lindbergh. There is more than a vacation happening when you have a beach experience...there is an opportunity for deep reflection in your writing.

My hope for us all as writers is to have a beach experience and write of wonder, of gifts of the sea, appreciate things bigger than our lives, and above all, remember to dance.

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