Oh, how I wish I could live on an island surrounded by a blue-green ocean…
I’d walk barefoot on white, sandy beaches collecting shells, with the sun on my face and wind in my hair…
How do I know about it? I was asked to review it.
This has been a summer of (almost embarrassing) riches! You already know about all the wonderfulness that has been my health journey.
I also received three outstanding books to review… and I don’t say that lightly. All three were different, too! One was on the Enneagram… then this gem, then another about a subject very near and dear to my heart – disabilities. I’ll be finishing and writing about that one soon. And yes, I know… I digress.
At first, I thought to compare Shifting Shorelines to Ann Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift From the Sea. In fact, the press kit for Helwig’s book does that…
But it’s been years since I read Lindbergh’s book and I wasn’t sure…
Yes, I could have gone back and re-read it. And I almost did… just for comparison…
But a funny thing happened.
I picked up Helwig’s book and couldn’t put it down.
It is EXQUISITE.
Is it like Gifts from the Sea?
Yes, from what I remember, but…
It absolutely stands on its own!
Helwig takes us on a journey… and it feels like just the two of us (you)… to a place she very-nearly manifested… always wanted… an island. We stand on the shoreline of a Florida barrier island… the place she calls home.
As you walk together, she shares stories and memories… always, with a lesson. In fact, when I got the email about reviewing this book, the subject line said, “What lessons would you share with your younger self?”
Some of the lessons you will guess before she ever gets there. Others, you’ll have to listen carefully, dig a little. Either way, the journey getting there is filled with lyrical beauty, sea life, and a kind of knowingness, for the stories she tells are hers… and yours!
Humanity lives here. She is simply adept at sorting it out and sharing it in a way that will speak to each of us.
Before this turns into a mush-fest, I admit that I find myself at a loss for words. You guys know that hardly EVER happens!
I mean, how many ways can I say, “I love this book!”?
However, if you’ll allow it…
I will end with one story that touched my heart deeply, for reasons you’ll understand only too well if you’ve been reading me for a while.
Helwig talks about how her daughter, Mandy wants her to live at least a hundred years.
It’s funny (but not) because I said the same thing to my own mother not long ago.
See, after Dad died in February, the notion that my parents were not going to live forever got real. Not that you want to think in those terms but dang, it sure brings it home.
I know how blessed I’ve been to cross into my 60s with both of my parents alive and mostly-well, but… it was clear, as I’ve mentioned before, that Dad was weakening after a “simple fall” in late 2017.
I remember speaking to him in the early days after the fall and saying, “You sound like Dad!” and him saying, “Of course! Who else would I sound like?” I can still hear his laugh.
You know, that’s the last time, honestly, that the “old Dad” was still… there.
Because after that, it was a series of crises, operations, heavy medications, and basically months-and-months of will-he-or-won’t-he live moments, along with a diagnosis of dementia in 2020. From thousands of miles away, during a pandemic, it was torture, as you know.
After he died, Mom was able to assess her own strengths and weaknesses, as she’d been mostly taking care of Dad for the better part of three years. She was worn out.
It was during one of these conversations that I told her, “You have to live forever, that’s all!”
She laughed. We laughed together. But, uh, I was serious.
I love Helwig’s idea, which yes, I’m coming back to now (sorry, I’m such a rambler!). She says she promised her daughter that she would try to live to one-hundred-years-old. Being the kind of person who believes you get what you put your mind to (remember, she has her island!) she says:
“Wanting to keep my promise, I have even taped a birthday card to the inside of my closet door, which says, ‘Celebrating 100 Wonderful Years!’ I want my body to be inspired, too.”
What a great reminder and motivator!
Mom, if you’re reading this… I know you believe in manifesting … and … uh … just wondering… Hallmark, here we come?
Connect with Terry Helwig Online
Terry Helwig is an award-winning author with a master’s degree in counseling psychology. Terry says nature and synchronicity have been two of her most profound teachers. Her favorite pastime, combing the beach of a Florida barrier island, is a dream come true. (Taken from her press kit.)