Thursday, March 15, 2012
In continuation of the festivities of Anne of Green Gables Week at Yet Another Period Drama Blog, I thought I would write a post on lessons I've learned from the Anne books by L.M. Montgomery. These books were seriously formative throughout my life -- I remember collecting them one by one throughout elementary school (a friend and I were competing to see who got all of them first, and we always got each other one of the books for our respective birthdays), and I used to read them every summer. Since being in college and getting married, I've re-read Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, and Anne's House of Dreams. I'm sure as the babies come along the books about Anne's children will become even more delightful to me. I learn something new from every reading, despite or maybe because of the simplicity of the books.
"Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"
There have been many awful, awful days where this has been my only comfort -- that I can start over again tomorrow with a clean slate.
If someone is a jerk to you, love them until they can't help but love you back.
In Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne has a really unpleasant coworker, Katherine Brooke, who is lonely and pessimistic and contrary. Instead of being cold and rude to her, Anne welcomes her to Green Gables and does everything she can to make this woman happy. In the end, they become close friends, and many facets of Katherine's life improve. This is possibly one of my favorite messages in all of the Anne books.
Sometimes, true love sneaks up on you and then punches you in the face (and jealousy tends to help it along).
Anne had to fall in and out of love with the seemingly perfect Royal Gardner, and she had to stomach Gilbert flirting with Christine Stewart, and Gilbert had to become deathly ill, before she realized that after all the misunderstandings, rescues, and shared endeavors, they were meant to be. Similarly, I had to date many frogs (who were not rich or wonderful like Royal Gardner, I might add), observe many female friendships, and infect then just-friend with the swine flu before we realized we were in love and got married. (There's nothing like a shared illness and moping around to build a relationship).
Everything is more magical if you give it a cool name.
It was important to Anne to give things proper names -- from the Lake of Shining Waters to the Snow Queen outside her window, she made sure everything had a proper handle. In fact, anything that could be improved upon by imagination was by Anne, and I think that leads to a much more interesting and enjoyable life. And she never stops appreciating the smallest pleasures in life -- from the details of nature to a small success, Anne finds the best in everything in life.