Anne of Green Gables
By L.M. Montgomery
“Dear old world,” she murmured, “you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.”
I grew up in the city but spent every summer with my family in a little cabin built by my naturalist and artist father, nestled deep in the woods in the mountains of BC. Surrounded by trees and bears and deer, owls and moths, the cabin and land would become the inspiration that would see me through life threatening illness and the drudgery and greyness of city life.
40 acres of land may be sizeable by adult standards but it felt endless as a small child and I spent days and days lost deep in the wilds of my imagination, under the shush of leaves swaying in a warm breeze, or knee deep in milky meadow flowers and golden butterflies.
Like many girls of the 80's, Anne of Green Gables held a special place in my heart. Not for the pioneer aspects of the story or Anne's contagious positivity. But because I saw myself in the special way she connected with nature, almost as though each plant, every flower was a character of it's own, a character worthy of deep love and friendship.
Infact, nature is perhaps the most kindred spirit of all to Anne Shirley. Every plant as much a living, breathing, thinking entity as any human being ever could be. And as close to her heart, perhaps even closer, than her very best friend or her future lover.
Many flowers and plants are mentioned in Anne of Green Gables, some native, others brought over by European settlers. I decided to feature plants and insects native to Prince Edward Island, many are even edible! Stork's-bill, wild rose and rosehips, rice lily, dandelions, red clover and common sweet clover, ladybugs, japanese beetles, bumblebees and copper butterflies.
There are so many wondrous quotes in Anne of Green Gables, it's hard to pick. So here are just a few of my favorites:
"I think to myself, ‘Now my hair is a glorious black, black as the raven’s wing.’ But all the time I know it is just plain red and it breaks my heart. It will be my lifelong sorrow."
"True friends are always together in spirit."
"The shore road was “woodsy and wild and lonesome.”
"The spring was abroad in the land and Marilla’s sober, middle-aged step was lighter and swifter because of its deep, primal gladness."
"… always there was a delightful spiciness in the air and music of bird calls and the murmur and laugh of wood winds in the trees overhead."
"There was a freshness in the air as of a wind that had blown over honey-sweet fields of clover. ... Beyond lay the sea, misty and purple, with its haunting, unceasing murmur."