What I’m reading right now: or, Ann of Adam’s Garden


“I’d like to add some beauty to life,” said Anne dreamily. “I don’t exactly want to make people know more … though I know that is the noblest ambition … but I’d love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me … to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn’t been born.”

English: Cover of Anne of Green Gables by Lucy...

English: Cover of Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, published 1908. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Believe it or not and I didn’t know why when I decided this, but I’m reading through the complete collection of Anne of Green Gables (L M Montgomery). I’ve never read any of the books and my only connection with this suite of novels is a children’s series that was on television many years ago. It’s strange how the mind/ psyche/God and his angels/work, because I hadn’t read more than a few pages of the first book in the series when I began to see why I had been drawn in this direction.

For those who don’t know (and I didn’t when I turned to page one) Anne is set in the fictional community of Avonlea on the real Prince Edward Island, which is a province of Canada. A brother and sister couple – Marissa and Matthew Cuthbert – owners of Green Gables, decided to adopt a boy from an orphan asylum in Nova Scotia. They arrange this by word of mouth and end up by mistake with 11-year-old Anne Shirley.

Anne of Green Gables is about Anne’s school years in Avonlea. Anne has had a hard life after being orphaned: she’s been used as an unpaid drudge in various families until placed in the asylum. What has saved her is her imagination.

Or, as it shall forever be known to me, The Wh...

Or, as it shall forever be known to me, The White Way of Delight (thank you, Anne of Green Gables) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are introduced to Anne’s imagination on a buggy ride bringing Anne from the train station to Green Gables for the very first time. Matthew Cuthbert has driven over expecting to collect an orphan boy. The drive to Green Gables takes them  through the Avenue, “… a stretch of road four or five hundred yards long, completely arched over with huge, wide-spreading apple-trees, planted years ago … Overhead was one long canopy of snowy fragrant bloom. Below the boughs the air was full of a purple twilight and far ahead a glimpse of painted sunset sky shone like a great rose window at the end of a cathedral aisle.” Anne is so affected by the beauty of the Avenue that she is struck dumb, then falls into a reverie. When she recovers, she says that it had “… made a queer funny ache ….” She decides the Avenue is too commonplace a name for such a lovely place and renames it ” – the White Way of Delight.”

English: Green Gables farmhouse in Cavendish, ...

English: Green Gables farmhouse in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recalled when as a child of 10, my family moved to a house by the sea; and my delight on discovering, on a particular stretch of beach, the tiny worlds that are rock pools. I named the place Adam’s Garden. I was, then, Ann of Adam’s Garden!

The quote at the top of the page is from Anne of Avonlea, the second book in the series. Anne has graduated from a year as a student at Queen’s College and has returned home to teach in Avonlea school. She is still only 16. She is in dialogue with schoolmate Gilbert Blythe, who has become a teacher also, at a school further distant. He’s just told Anne he intends to become a doctor. The quote is her response. It could have equally been said by Ann of Adam’s Garden. I don’t totally agree with Anne, in that I don’t believe that wanting to make people know more is the noblest ambition. For me, wanting to make people love more would be the higher ambition. It’s certainly easier to love more when surrounded by beauty. And there’s nothing to surpass Nature for churning out beauty.

Reading these books is teaching me that 50 years after discovering the wondrous worlds of rock pools, Ann of Adam’s Garden still exists to marvel at the beauties of nature and to imagine!

I’m repeating the quote. It’s a beautiful piece of writing and sentiment.  Enjoy!

“I’d like to add some beauty to life,” said Anne dreamily. “I don’t exactly want to make people know more … though I know that is the noblest ambition … but I’d love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me … to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn’t been born.”

Ann

About AnnIsikArts

Artist/Writer, Proofreader/Copy Editor
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4 Responses to What I’m reading right now: or, Ann of Adam’s Garden

  1. marymtf says:

    You’ve inspired me to re-read the first Anne book. I’m having a bit of a nostalgic kick, except that this time round the book is on my e-reader.

    Like

  2. marymtf says:

    I loved the first two Anne books. Dated or not, they were magical. I thought that the rest were just dated. I do agree with Anne with an e. Those who know are more likely than the ignorant to take time out to appreciate the beauty of nature. 🙂

    Like

    • annisik51 says:

      You have a point about ‘knowing’. You’ve made me think. Yes, education can help develop a sensitivity/enthusiasm in a certain direction. I think I feel a sense of beauty – and wonder – comes naturally and has to be ‘educated out’ of people, with disastrous consequences. Maybe! 🙂 Thanks for reading.

      Like

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