Terry Helwig is an award-winning author whose new book, Shifting Shorelines, has been praised as a twenty-first century Gift from the Sea. Terry’s wise, lyrical, and heartwarming prose reveals a deep thinker who finds meaning and correlation between both her inner and outer worlds. A naturalist at heart, 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—especially for a child whose turbulent upbringing threatened to overwhelm her. Terry recounts her early struggle to keep hope alive in her coming-of-age memoir Moonlight on Linoleum, which won Elle Magazine’s 2012 Grand Prix Nonfiction Book of the Year.
Two of the brightest lights in Terry’s sky are her husband Jim and her daughter Mandy.
We live in a time unlike any other. News and social media connect our world instantaneously. As a result, we’re bombarded with stories of pain, atrocities, misinformation, hatred, and fear. This incessant barrage of information can be numbing at times—eroding our joy and overwhelming our spirit.
My new book Shifting Shorelines reveals the joy buried beneath the full range of human experience. Life is neither good nor bad. It is sacred. Two of my greatest teachers have been nature and synchronicity. Shifting Shorelines is my most soulful writing; it is an ode to nature, the passage of time, and the ripening of wisdom.
I’m not a prolific writer. I’m more of a prolific lover of life who sometimes writes about experiences that sadden, frighten, and, more importantly, gladden me. I “pick up my pen” (my euphemism for turning on the computer) because my soul begs to say:
This gift of human life is so precious. Let’s not squander a minute of it.
I trust my sister, Nancy, to whom Shifting Shorelines is dedicated, would agree. She died of pancreatic cancer seven years ago. Before she died, I whispered that I would be dedicating my next book to her. She leaned her forehead against mine, squeezed my arm, and whispered: I had a feeling you might do that.
So here’s to Nancy, who longed for more tenderness and kindness in the world, who wanted to right so many wrongs, who made me feel wiser, taller, and happier whenever we shared the same space—which was not nearly long enough.
But the joy of sharing life with Nancy remains.
Listen. Can you hear it? That sacred hum vibrating beneath each day?