While resting, I began watching Anne with an E on Netflix. I've watched and loved many renditions of the "Anne of Green Gables" books by Lucy Maud Mongomery. But besides the beautiful artwork and stunning scenery, this TV series has brought Anne into the 21st century with many of her stories having a modern twist and dealing with modern issues. (As well, the theme music is the Tragically Hip's Ahead by a Century, and a bittersweet reminder of Canada's long lost treasure, Gord Downie.)
I was Anne's age when my family vacationed on PEI, visited the Anne of Green Gables sight and bought the 1st book. I immediately saw myself in Anne: not that I was an orphan, unloved and growing up in harsh circumstances; but rather that in a home full of criticism, I felt ugly, and I longed for any kind of tangible demonstration of my parents love. Like Anne, I also felt a deep connection to nature, a fondness for big words, and a dramatic flare which was often ridiculed. Anne quickly became my heroine! I knew that we were kindred spirits! It was the 60's, and growing up as the eldest girl in my noisy family of 5 kids, there were expectations when it came to chores, help with child care, and, as mentioned, a lot of criticism from my Mom. Even though I know it wasn't true, at that age, I felt unloved and invisible. Anne's optimism, joy in simple things, and determination to make the best of life gave me a different perspective and a focus. Realistically, there are no parents who can meet all the needs of their children; my parents did the best they could with what they knew, just as I did the best I could with what I knew. We all made mistakes.But sometimes, children can find enough of what is lacking in their lives in other places or in other people that it can make a huge difference. It makes me so sad to hear of what's happening in some parts of the U.S. with the banning of certain children's book. Never doubt the difference a good book can have on a child's life. It's my belief that Anne of Green Gables saved mine. And rewatching this rendition of my most beloved book has once again brought me comfort, joy and gratitude for my ability to look past the negative. It's also reminded me of all the good things my Mom instilled in me, one of them being a love of reading.
In spite of what I felt as a 13 year old, and in reflection of 68 years on this earth, my life was not a graveyard of buried hopes. I have been most fortunate to have walked down many white ways of delight, sailed on many lakes of shining waters, and am delighted to have found many other kindred spirits. And I am eternally grateful for the reminder that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes yet.
What childhood books have made a difference in your life? I'd love to hear.