Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Anne of Green Gables
I have a confession to make. A confession on behalf of my husband. He loves the Anne series. Loves it, with a capital "L." For almost as long as I've known him, I've known that he loves the Anne series and the Anne films. At his parents house, his paperback copies - the copies he read when he was 10 - sat on a little shelf, all by themselves. This shelf was sitting atop a bookcase, protected from having to rub covers will all the other books. Every time we went to his parents' house he'd point them out and fondly talk of Anne. I know what you're thinking and no, I am not exaggerating when I say this. He really loves these books.
I never read this series when I was a kid. In starting the series and sharing my progress on social media, I've discovered that this sets me apart from basically everyone I know. Realizing that so many people have this shared childhood experience of meeting and growing with Anne makes me feel a bit left out. I don't really know why I never read them but am currently working to fix that.
Last time we were at his parents' house, Joe made a point of bringing his Anne books back home with us. He pulled them off the shelf, put them on the bed and held them up one by one, providing me with a brief summary of the plots. When we got home, I decided I'd start reading the series. I half expected to not enjoy them but thought it would be neat to read these books he had read as a child and loved so much. It was a little bit sweeter knowing these were the same copies he had read and fallen in love with.
I'm currently on the third book - Anne of the Island - and am in love. I have fallen hopelessly in love with Anne (with an "e") and her wonderful world. The books are funny, thoughtful and at times sad. I've often found myself chuckling while reading - at times because the books are funny but also because sometimes Anne just says the most profound things, out of the blue! I am so happy I've picked up these books and just wish I had more time to work my way through.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from Anne of Green Gables:
"I know you and I are going to get along together fine. It's such a relief to talk when one wants to and not be told that children should be seen and not heard. I've had that said to me a million times if I have once. And people laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas you have to used big words to express them, haven't you?"
“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I'd do. I'd go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I'd look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I'd just feel a prayer.”
"If I were a man I think I'd be a minister. They can have such an influence for good, if their theology is sound; and it must be thrilling to preach splendid sermons and stir your hearers' hearts. Why can't women be ministers Marilla? I asked Mrs. Lynde that and she was shocked and said it would be a scandalous thing. She said there might be female ministers in the States and she believed there was, but thank goodness we hadn't got to that stage in Canada yet and she hoped we never would. But I don't see why. I think women make splendid ministers. When there is a social to be got up or a church tea or anything else to raise money the women have to turn to and do the work. I'm sure Mrs. Lynde can pray every bit as well as Superintendent Bell and I've no doubt she could preach too with a little bit of practice."
"They keep coming up new all the time-things to perplex you, you know. You settle one questions and there's another right after. There are so many things to be thought over and decided when you're beginning to grow up. It keeps me busy all the time thinking them over and deciding what is right. It's a serious thing to grow up, isn't it, Marilla? But when I have such good friends as you and Matthew and Mrs. Allan and Miss Stacy i ought to grow up successfully, and I'm sure it will be my own fault if I don't. I feel it's a great responsibility because I have only the one chance. If I don't grow up right I can't go back and begin over again."
"For we pay the price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self-denial, anxiety and discouragement."
"I'm just as ambitious as ever. Only, I've changed the object of my ambitions. I'm going to be a good teacher - and I'm going to save your eyesight. Besides I mean to study at home here and take a little college course all by myself. Oh, I've dozens of plans, Marilla. I've been thinking them out for a week. I shall give life here my best, and I believe it will give its best to me in return. When I left Queen's my future seemed to stretch out before my like a straight road. I thought I could see it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the best, but I'm going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend, Marilla, I wonder how the road beyond it goes-what there is of green glory and soft, checkered light and shadows-what new landscapes-what new beauties-what curves and hills, and valleys further on."