“Somehow,’ she told Diana,’when I’m going through here I don’t really care whether Gil – whether anybody gets ahead of me in class or not. But when I’m up in school it’s all different and I care as much as ever. There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.” – Anne of Green Gables ( L.M. Montgomery) p.194
I have been ravenously reading this summer – I think I’m on book number eleven. I’m attempting to read books that my students might read in 7th grade this upcoming year and while I have had Anne of Green Gables on my shelf for ages, I apparently never read it before now. (The Hobbit may share this same fate, though I can’t be sure – reading vs. knowing story lines sort of blends in my memory from childhood until now – it gets confusing) Back to the point: Anne is fantastic and I think that maybe we could be kindred spirits. This quote above is just one of many that I’ve marked – about one per page so far – that draw me to believe that her character and mine are intrinsically linked in the world that exists between reality and realistic fiction (it’s a real place, I swear). She is just such a relate-able character for anyone whose imagination has created haunted woods or dryads who live in small farm ponds and this quote especially resonates with me as I attempt to balance this life I’m stepping into.
Such a lot of different Annes……Such a lot of different Rebeccas: daughter, sister, mom, wife, friend, yarn fanatic, knitting teacher, theology connoisseur, baker, writer, musician, English student, teacher, planner, INFJ, Enneagram 9 –
Montgomery created Anne as a girl with unending imagination and it is Anne’s ability to overcome any situation with the crazy optimism that the same mistakes won’t be made twice, that life must have a limit to mistakes to be made, and that each day brings a magical beauty and each person holds some unlockable knowledge of wonderful new and never before experienced expectations of ways to live, love, speak, write, and most importantly – dress for tea. Anne takes time to notice every moment and expand the time within a second so that it holds so much more than just a single passing moment and instead is full of a deeply described memory – a flowering tree named Snow Queen can make every morning seem magical.
Anne makes me wonder at what point in my life did I stop noticing the immeasurable expanse of a moment – when did I stop stopping to notice the flowers, or the way the wind moves the dry grass and shakes the leaves so it sounds like they are whispering? When did the laughter of a brook become only a metaphor to describe the passing laughter of a small child? All of this, and how do I begin again to wonder at the wonders and to share the wonders of life as expressions of self – how do I incorporate the many different Rebeccas into the many different perceptions of the reality laid at my feet. Each day is magical, living into that is just the beginning of balancing the different Mes into one never fully definable person. It’s not so bad to always be someone new after all, as long as each new me is just the same version as before – only better – less mistakes, more imagination.