13 October 2011

in which i become anne of green gables

Why, yes, I am wearing red braids attached to a straw hat.*

And behind me is the carriage that Matthew used to drive Anne home to Green Gables from Bright River.**

The carriage is blocking the actual Green Gables, but don't worry: I took approximately 4 bajillion pictures of the house. And I will make you come to my house and watch a slideshow of them, all 4 bajillion of them, and you will love it.

You will love it because every picture will involve commentary such as this:

Oh my word, I WENT TO GREEN GABLES! Sorry for shouting; I really can't help myself. I don't know how I stayed quiet when actually visiting the place. It probably had to do with the busload of retirees who'd just been dropped off. No need to embarrass myself in front of sweet retirees from Georgia, but OH MY WORD, GREEN GABLES. I can totally embarrass myself in front of you.

And this is a picture of the house from the front
east side
west side
side that Anne was standing on when this happened in the book
side that faces the Haunted Woods

Do you want me to re-enact a scene from the book? Do you want me to re-enact me seeing the house for the first time? It went like this: OH MY WORD, GREEN GABLES. I'VE LOVED YOU SINCE I WAS 8..

I have more thoughts on Green Gables and Prince Edward Island in general—thoughts that maybe even LM Montgomery herself {she of the gossamer-lined prose} would be proud of.

But all I can get out now is: OH MY WORD, GREEN GABLES.

* But no, I didn't buy the hat. I may love Anne, but I don't love useless souvenirs. And nothing screams useless like a wig that isn't even a full wig—it's just braids in a hair color that was clearly not made for my complexion.

** Just wanted to reassure you, once again, that I do know the difference between reality and fiction. Matthew and Anne didn't exist, but the carriage placed strategically outside of Green Gables {it practically begs you to take a picture} does. Got it.

Actually, little sidenote to my asterisked footnote here, the Green Gables of today does an excellent job of helping you separate reality and fiction.

You come here dreaming of a bucolic, pastoral, idyllic little hamlet. You come here seeming to remember a past that you couldn't have lived—a one room schoolhouse and when driving to Charlottetown {20km away} was enough of an event to talk about for two weeks.

You come here dreaming all of that, and Green Gables is a preserved slice of that life. But it's a thin slice. Walk five minutes down Lover's Lane and the tree line opens up enough to reveal golf carts zipping along on a path not ten feet away.

There you are trying to re-connect with nature and calm your soul, and there is a man worrying about par on the next hole.

But isn't one of Anne's main lessons that it's possible to find the good in every day and every situation and every person? Doesn't she teach us that if you try hard enough and look close enough, you can see a sprinkling of fairy dust possibilities everywhere?

So I applied Anne's lesson at Green Gables yesterday: my modern-day reality may involve a golf cart zipping through what should be the Dryad's Bubble, but that doesn't mean I can't turn my head and see a clump of birch trees, silver bark curling off and fire-orange leaves clinging to the branches. I can make the most of where I find myself.


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