I have just finished re-reading one of my favorite books. And, like all those tomes I’ve labelled “favorites” over the years, this one has given me even more to love as an adult (which descriptive term I use quite loosely).
Like many young dreamers, Anne of Green Gables touched my childhood in so many ways. I loved the skinny, red-haired orphan girl who used big words, lost herself in books and imagination, got herself into the most disastrous scrapes, and managed to keep dreaming through it all. From Anne, I took a philosophy of the world that has stuck with me to this day, one of love and trust, of seeing the beauty in the natural and human worlds around us.
This time around, I have gleaned even more wisdom, some of it a bittersweet recollection of youth that seems long past. So here I want to share some quotes and some things I’ve learned from Anne over the years.
- It’s alright to use big words, even if people laugh at you: “And people laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas you have to use big words to express them, haven’t you?”
- A sense of wonder is a requirement for living: “Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes feel glad to be alive — it’s such an interesting world.”
- Life seems better when you pretend you’re the heroine of a grand romance: “‘Oh, what I know about myself isn’t really worth telling,’ said Anne eagerly. ‘If you’ll only let me tell you what I imagine about myself you’ll think it ever so much more interesting.'”
- Good friends are worth working for: “Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
- There is never only one version of you, and this is what people will love most: “There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think it is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one anne, it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.” & “Anne has as many shades as a rainbow and every shade is the prettiest while it lasts.”
- Every day is a new opportunity: “Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
- Sometimes life leads in unexpected directions that may be just as beautiful and excited as what we had hoped for on our expected path: “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 me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend, 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.”
And of course,
‘Dear old world, ‘ she murmured, ‘you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.’