Thursday, August 4, 2011

Red Currant Wine- Anne was a kindred spirit

Anne and Diana in Avenlea. I think I prefer Megan Follows.

At first I didn’t believe that I had much in common with Anne Shirley. She was a precocious red headed orphan raised on a 19 century farm in rural Prince Edward Island. I am a sarcastic grey haired man on the verge of a midlife crisis living in Eastern Passage. But a recent trip back to the island has caused me to pause and consider that I may be more like her than I’d like to admit.

I spent a few years living in PEI as a child. Like everyone I’m sure, my memories of that time of my life are fragmented but for some reason were important enough for me to keep them. I can still recall the bitter disappointment of loosing my Hammerhead Star Wars action figure in the school sandbox. 

During the morning singing of O’Canada, I once proclaimed my undying love to some pony tail beauty in Kindergarden. She pretended she couldn’t hear, but I know she did. 

It is the small details we remember growing up that stay with us. I’ve lost many important things in my life since Kindergarden, but it is the loss of that 3 dollar toy that has stayed with me. I have also proclaimed my love to many pony tailed beauties in my time, but I remember her because it was then I learned that relationships are more complicated than proclamations.

My kids aren’t much older now than I was then. I often quietly wonder what will be their touchstone moments that will last with them through the years to come. 

My Daughter demonstrated that she is a natural leader. She is going to change the world someday. People look to her because she is good and true and honest and sincere- and she isn’t afraid. Who else can so aptly lead a bunch of strangers on a chicken rescue? Those skills will change the world someday.

My Son learned that it is okay to be different. It is hard living in someone else’s shadow, especially when you are shy. I’m sure Charlie Sloan has a hard time living in Avonlea. He lives in a world confined by genteel responsibilities and proper behavior and all he wants to do is chase pigs and put frogs down girls shirts. My Son found a kindred spirit.
I learned that I am not much different than Anne of Green Gables.

"Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive--it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?"
- Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“Look at that sea, girls--all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn't enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds."
- Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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