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December 19 , 2010

Shore Lines

Life Lessons from the Sea


If you enjoy the delights of the ocean and revelatory stories found in people's lives, you will want to read Shore Lines: Life Lessons from the Sea. Edwin Lynn draws from his varied careers and a lifetime near the sea to reflect upon our everyday patterns while also capturing the beauty and glory of times at the beach, where our mind is free and our senses liberated. In 27 short essays divided into three sections – Attitude, Adversity, and Gratitude – he creates a connection between the seaside environment and human experiences from which we can all learn important life lessons. He describes what it means to live with change in “Crests and Troughs,” ways of getting unstuck in “Barnacles and Other Grabbers,” and reshaping adversity in “Greenheads in Season, No Refunds.” The giant Under Toad, the tern's aggressive bombardment, and a dreaded shark attack can teach us about our fears, vulnerabilities, and assumptions. Lynn imaginatively and playfully examines the shifting sand dunes, breaking waves, and mysterious cormorants as well as other shore life to discover the lessons they reveal to us. Each story is tied to a seaside image – patterns in the sand reveal a grandmother's kindly wisdom about lasting love, the waters of a marshy maze echo the failures in using the wrong map, and the gull's grittiness and acceptance demonstrate what skills a young couple needs to survive 118 days at sea. Sharing honestly and intimately about family, friendships, and personal experiences, Lynn's writing is accessible and inspirational. His stories are permeated with an exuberance, grace, and gratitude for each day, embodied in his daily mantra that he has embraced from Winslow Homer: “The sun will not rise or set without my notice and thanks.”
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