Shells: A Cameo of Anne Morrow Lindbergh


Anne Morrow Lindbergh is an artist who has been an inspiration to me throughout my life. I was a young mother when I first found her books. Her words touched my heart and my life in so many ways and gave clarity to my own journey to define my Self. I read her diaries as they were published, then her novels and her lovely non-fiction. Then I found her beautiful poetry.

In 1974, I marked with interest the passing of her husband, Charles Lindbergh, but in 2001, I mourned Anne’s passing. She had become a mentor, a guide, an inspiration to me, so I felt her loss deeply.

When I recently discovered there was a little book called Shells: A Cameo of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, by Virnell Ann Bruce, I was instantly curious. I haven’t read many of the biographies written about AML because I preferred to read about her life in her own words, or in her daughter’s words — Reeve Lindbergh wrote some beautiful memoirs of her parents. (Click here to watch a YouTube video of Reeve talking about her mother.) But Shells is actually a one-woman play with Anne Morrow Lindbergh sharing stories and reminiscing about her life. The author has done a tremendous amount of research for this play, (Click here to watch a YouTube video of Virnell Ann Bruce talking about AML) and it’s a lovely way to learn about AML and her amazing life. I would love to have the opportunity to see this play performed on stage.

As I read the play, I bookmarked numerous passages that resonated with me. One passage, in particular, described well what I admired about AML, and why she became my own “friend” and “guide” over the years.

I spent a lot of time over the years, looking inward for myself and my world. It’s hard work to become a whole person, to develop and understand your own heart, your mind and your true spirit. Especially since it’s a continuous process as life changes. While I spent a good amount of time in Charles’ world of action, I think I found my own place in the world. Oh, it included Charles and the children, but it also included my world of books and poetry and art. And I found many wonderful friends in those worlds.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s sensitive and insightful world of books, poetry and art continues to inspire me and guide me on my lifelong journey to understand my own heart and spirit. This little book was another lovely encounter with a beautiful artist.


7 thoughts on “Shells: A Cameo of Anne Morrow Lindbergh

  1. Virnell Bruce

    What a lovely surprise to see that one of my google alerts for Anne Morrow Lindbergh was really about my book and play about her. Thank you so much for your thoughtful post, including the quote. I’m now doing additional research on her, including her papers at Yale, as well as analyzing some of her work more closely. If you read “Dearly Beloved” (published in 1962) I think you’ll see a whole different aspect of her thoughts about marriage and relationships.

    Virnell Ann Bruce


  2. Nan

    Her life is even more poignant now as we learn more about Charles. I wonder if she sensed anything about his ‘other’ family. I am a big fan of all Reeve’s work. I love her writing. I actually have Dearly Beloved on my shelf – borrowed from a friend many years ago. I should get reading it!


  3. Robin Post author

    Virnell Ann Bruce, what a lovely surprise for me this morning to find your comment on my post about Anne Morrow Lindbergh! Reading your play made me want to revisit her work. I did read “Dearly Beloved,” but it was many years ago and I wonder how I would feel about it today, at this age? I was wondering if your play is being performed anywhere? It would be lovely to see it. By the way, my brother and sister-in-law live in Williamsburg. His name is Canning, and he just retired last year from teaching in the history department at the College of William and Mary. Perhaps paths have crossed?


  4. Robin Post author

    Nan, I love Reeve’s work, too. I quote Reeve often when talking about being in my 60s. She was the one who said that ’60 is the youth of old age,” and that really resonated with me. I hope she will say something equally profound about 70! I don’t have a copy of “Dearly Beloved,” but I must re-read it now. Have you read this little book, “Shells”?


  5. Les in NE

    Robin, this sounds like a delightful book! Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I loved listening to the audio production of Gift From the Sea and would like to read more about AML. A little bit of personal trivia… my grandparents had a Christmas party at their home in Woodside, CA and my grandfather (who was a PanAm pilot) invited Charles Lindbergh and he accepted. Too bad he turned out to be such a cad with regard to his marriage to AML.


  6. Robin Post author

    Nan, that was really exciting to get that note from the author. I love that connection that seems to happen more and more often in the blogging world nowadays.



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