I was led from that day in the garden to get our copy of Anne of Green Gables from my sister (copyright 1935). It belonged to my mother and her sister before us and loving the story is a family tradition. Reading it again, it has not lost its luster. The themes are timeless. Where does the child exist who does not waver in confidence? Who is not uncertain about their looks, whether or not they will belong, fit in? If they will have friends, a certain, particular friend, a bosom friend, a kindred spirit as Anne calls it. Who, no matter at any age, doesn’t long for understanding, a sympathetic ear? Where is the child who does not imagine at times they are somehow larger than the life they are living?
Anne questions why she must pray on her knees and why she must pray a certain arrangement of words. She speaks of praying out of doors, “in a great big field all alone”. She would there “just feel a prayer”. I loved that in her, that she felt so certain in her lack of convention about all things societal and religious, and yet she was so spiritually connected to earth and sky and to people. She was my kindred spirit, too, in her love of the garden and growing, blooming things and in her irrepressible joy regardless of her circumstances. She speaks of the “romance” of life. It seems lovely to speak of life in such terms, as a romance, as if you are in love with the mere fact and breath of living.
Re-reading Anne of Green Gables reminded me of the solace and delight I have always found in books, of the assurance that my own differences might be an asset. I found the reflection of my joy in life in her story and it has not diminished with time. The book is beautifully written and although it is of another era and possibly for some considered old fashioned, it is not. The wisdom is as true now as then and as truth will ever be. Always true.