Previously: Anne of Green Gables. She’s a little older now, and responsible for teaching a classroom of small children, but it hasn’t helped much.
“It was full of little children and laughter and songs; and now it is empty, and nothing ever wanders through it but the wind. How lonely and sorrowful it must feel! Perhaps they all come back on moonlit nights…the ghosts of the little children of long ago and the roses and the songs…and for a little while the old house can dream it is young and joyous again.”
“I know now just how people feel who are being led to execution.”
“I imagined out a most interesting dialogue between the asters and the sweet peas and the wild canaries in the lilac bush and the guardian spirit of the garden.”
“Oh, this is a day left over from Eden, isn’t it, Diana? The air has magic in it. Look at the purple in the cup of that harvest valley, Diana. And oh, do smell the dying fir! It’s coming up from that little sunny hollow where Mr Eben Wright has been cutting fence poles. Bliss is it on such a day to be alive; but to smell dying fir is very heaven. That’s two thirds Wordsworth and one third Anne Shirley. It doesn’t seem possible that there should be dying fir in heaven, does it? And yet it doesn’t seem to me that heaven would be quite perfect if you couldn’t get a whiff of dead fir as you went through its woods. Perhaps we’ll have the odor there without the death. Yes, I think that will be the way. That delicious aroma must be the souls of the firs…and of course it will be just souls in heaven.”
“November is usually such a disagreeable month…as if the year had suddenly found out she was growing old and could do nothing but weep and fret over it. This year is growing old gracefully…just like a stately old lady who knows she can be charming even with gray hair and wrinkles.”
“We’ll all four start off to the woods and spend a golden day making the acquaintance of the spring. We none of us really know her yet, but we’ll meet her back there as we never can anywhere else. I want to explore all those fields and lonely places anyhow. I have a conviction that there are scores of beautiful nooks there that have never really been seen although they might have been looked at. We’ll make friends with wind and sky and sun, and bring home the spring in our hearts.”
“This is where the bad wood elves dwell. They are impish and malicious but they can’t harm us, because they are not allowed to do evil in the spring. There was one peeping at us around that old twisted fir; and didn’t you see a group of them on that big freckly toadstool we just passed? The good fairies always swell in the sunshiny places.”
“I like to fancy souls as being made of light. And some are all shot through with rosy stains and quivers…and some have a soft glitter like moonlight on the sea…and some are pale and transparent like mist at dawn.”
“How quiet the woods are today…not a murmur except that soft wind purring in the treetops! It sounds like surf on a faraway shore. How dear the woods are! You beautiful trees! I love every one of you as a friend.”
(Anne paused to throw her arm about a slim young birch and kiss its cream-white trunk.)
“You don’t know what splendid adventures I have for a little while after I go to bed in the east gable every night.”
“That white birch you caught me kissing is a sister of mine. The only difference is, she’s a tree and I’m a girl, but that’s no real difference. Where are you going, Diana?”
“I had had such a lonely, starved heart all through my childhood. I’m just beginning to realize how starved and lonely it really was. Nobody cared anything for me or wanted to be bothered with me. I should have been miserable if it hadn’t been for that strange little dream-life of mine, wherein I imagined all the friends and love I craved. But when I came to Green Gables everything was changed. And then I met you. You don’t know what your friendship meant to me. I want to thank you here and now, dear, for the warm and true affection you’ve always given me.”
Nicole is an Editor of The Toast.