Happy Sunday! I am enjoying a lovely morning out on my back deck - quiet, peaceful, and COOL for the first time since spring - ahhhh! And after two and a half weeks of being badly crashed and flat on my back, I think I am finally feeling a bit better this morning.
Anne of Green Gables (my review at link) by H.M. Montgomery and fell in love with exuberant Anne, as generations have before me. Anne is an orphan girl who goes to live with brother and sister Matthew and Marilla who were hoping for a boy to help with their farm. But Anne brings something better than manual labor into their quiet, routine lives - she brings joy.
I wrote down a lot of favorite quotes from the classic novel. Many of my favorites were Anne exclaiming over the natural beauty around her or the joy inherent in life, like these:
"Isn't it a splendid thing that there are mornings?"But toward the end of the novel (don't worry, no spoilers), something very unexpected happens in Anne's joyful life that completely changes the plans she'd made for herself. I could really relate to this passage in the way that chronic illness suddenly changed my own life path, and Anne's determination to make the best of this new, unforeseen life:
"It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you can make up your mind firmly that you will."
"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." (me, too!)
"I shall give life here my best, and I believe it will give its best to me in return. When I left [where I was] my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend. I wonder how the road beyond it goes - what there is of green glory and soft, checkered light and shadows - what new landscapes - what new beauties - what curves and hills and valleys further on."
"Anne's horizons had closed in since the night she had sat there after coming home...; but if the path set before her feet was to be narrow she knew that flowers of quiet happiness would bloom along it."
- Anne of Green Gables by H.M. Montgomery
I especially like that last line.
These passages express how I feel about my life now, 13 years since getting sick (though I can't claim to have had Anne's upbeat attitude at the beginning!). Yes, there's been a bend in the road, but I can still find joys in my life every day. It's a different life than I had foreseen for myself all those years ago, but it has its own set of unique characteristics to be grateful for.
Have you read Anne of Green Gables? How do you feel about Anne's words on accepting change and looking forward? What "flowers of quiet happiness" have you discovered along your own narrowed path of life with chronic illness, beyond the bend in the road?
(By the way, if you are looking for some light, easy reading that is uplifting and joyful, this is a wonderful novel! During my last two weeks very sick, when I was having trouble concentrating, I found that middle-grade novels were the perfect solution.)