Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Beginning

I love words - the beauty of them when combined in an inspired way; the therapeutic power of them to heal and give hope; the ability of them to provide joy and grace for anyone who wishes. That is what this blog is all about - a celebration of the beauty and power of words.

How did this love affair begin? With one book -- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. This is the book that made me fall in love with words, with writing, with Prince Edward Island and the Canadian Maritimes, with the immersive joy of beautiful writing. As a child, I was in awe of Montgomery's descriptive abilities and they continue to inspire me to this day.

I think everyone who loves words has had a similar childhood experience - a book, a literary moment that changed their lives forever and inspired a passion for words. It's a different book, a different experience for everyone... but the essence is the same. For me, it just happened to be Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables.

I still love the epigraph to the novel:

"The good stars met in your horoscope, Made you of spirit of fire and dew." -Browning

And the ending as well:

""'God's in his heaven, all's right with the world'" whispered Anne softly."

There are so many beautiful moments in between, as well. Here are just a few examples of some lovely passages from Anne of Green Gables:

Chapter 2:

"Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive--it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?"


Chapter 2:

"They had driven over the crest of a hill. Below them was a pond, looking almost like a river so long and winding was it. A bridge spanned it midway and from there to its lower end, where an amber-hued belt of sand-hills shut it in from the dark blue gulf beyond, the water was a glory of many shifting hues--the most spiritual shadings of crocus and rose and ethereal green, with other elusive tintings for which no name has ever been found. Above the bridge the pond ran up into fringing groves of fir and maple and lay all darkly translucent in their wavering shadows. Here and there a wild plum leaned out from the bank like a white-clad girl tip-toeing to her own reflection. From the marsh at the head of the pond came the clear, mournfully-sweet chorus of the frogs. There was a little gray house peering around a white apple orchard on a slope beyond and, although it was not yet quite dark, a light was shining from one of its windows. "

Chapter 38:

"She lingered there until dusk, liking the peace and calm of the little place, with its poplars whose rustle was like low, friendly speech, and its whispering grasses growing at will among the graves. When she finally left it and walked down the long hill that sloped to the Lake of Shining Waters it was past sunset and all Avonlea lay before her in a dreamlike afterlight-- "a haunt of ancient peace." There was a freshness in the air as of a wind that had blown over honey-sweet fields of clover. Home lights twinkled out here and there among the homestead trees. Beyond lay the sea, misty and purple, with its haunting, unceasing murmur. The west was a glory of soft mingled hues, and the pond reflected them all in still softer shadings. The beauty of it all thrilled Anne's heart, and she gratefully opened the gates of her soul to it.

"Dear old world," she murmured, "you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.""


I could go on and on... but this is the essence of my beginning... the beginning of my love for words. What has inspired your love of words? Is there a particular book, author, or literary experience as a child that has launched a lifetime love of words?

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