My Life with Anne {and Gilbert}

I was in Sixth Grade.  My mind was still very much that of a little girl, but my body was beginning to show hints of the woman I would become.  I was awkward and clumsy; as if my body and my mind were at odds.  I was mercilessly teased by my classmates for being an early bloomer and my home life was anything but idyllic.  I couldn’t quite figure out how I fit in or how anything was ever going to be right again.

Then came an afternoon that I won’t soon forget.  My teacher introduced us to Anne of Green Gables.  He bent back the spine of that beautiful book and with the even cadence of his voice conjured the magic that was Avonlea.  A world “fringed with alders and ladies’ ear-drops and traversed by a brook…”  

greengables

 

My life was so full of uncertainty.  A marriage had fallen apart.  There were arguments and fights and our house only seemed to know the song of anger.  Except on “Anne” days.  On those days I could find my way to the Lake of Shining Waters  or the White Way of  Delight.  I could see myself in Anne’s world.  As that story unfolded I began to believe. 

Through the words of L.M. Montgomery’s  I began to believe in the tenacity of dreams and that possibility can take root in the fallow field of disappointment and hurt. 

Anne had felt the sting of abandonment, the heartbreak of neglect, yet somewhere she was able to find the courage to believe that the world was bigger than her immediate circumstances.  She believed that love came in a multitude of ways and she did not stop searching for its existence.  

She believed.

And, so did I. 

anne

 

I began writing my own words.  I began taking all that fear and anger that seemed too large for a little girl and, through the tip of my pencil,  I took the bravest of steps toward healing.  I would bleed blue and black ink in countless journals and on pages hoarded from the backs of half filled school notebooks.  My heart was laid bare on straight-edged lines and with choppy childhood penmanship.

As my pain came swirling out I began to breathe easier.  I began to understand that hope had a place in my life.

 

It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I began to understand how a Sixth Grade classroom and a too small desk left such an indelible mark.  I have come a long way from that scared and scarred little girl.

Time and maturity have blossomed into wisdom and my love of words has not changed.  Instead of scratching in journals, I tap on keys on this old and tired Lenovo laptop.  I still use words to drown out the whisper of doubt when my fears come haunting.  

Right now, writing is more than just healing for me.  It is the place where I can raise my story with the beautiful music of all the other stories that have touched my life.   This little, quiet corner of the internet has become, for me, a place where I can use my words to help others see the beauty of their own story.

It’s never too late for hope.  

It’s never too late to dream.  

It’s never too late to live your life right out to the very edges.  

It’s just never too late. 

“All precious things discovered late

To those who seek them issue forth, 

For love in sequel works with Fate,

And draws the veil from hidden worth” (Tennyson, 1842)

lake of shining waters

I would love to hear from you.  What book from your childhood is the most memorable? 

When I heard the news this past weekend about the passing of Jonathan Crombie, the Canadian actor who is most famous for his role as Gilbert Blythe, I couldn’t help but reminisce. Anne of Green Gables was so much more than fiction for me. That beautiful story birthed a love of words and fostered hope. I wanted to spend some time today reflecting on this timeless story.


2 Comments

  1. Oh, my word. Yes, yes and yes.

    I was introduced to Anne around third grade and immediately fell in love with her. Here was a girl who understood. She was awkward and dreamy. She saw things through the lens of wild imagination. She felt and thought deeply. It was as if someone “got” me. I can quote most of the first two movies to this day and read the books every so often.

    Jonathan Crombie’s death makes me sad. There was something really special about his portrayal of Gilbert.

  2. Love this! I’m not big into re-reading books, except for the Anne books. I loved them as a young girl and still do. And the first two movies took me with them into Anne’s world.

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