There are some books that you read as a child that stay with you for a lifetime. They draw you in with their lure of adventure, romance, or mystery, but in the end, the ones that stay with you are the ones that changed you in some way. They are the books where the characters become your friends, almost as real as the pages in your hand. They were the books that taught you something about the world, changed the way you saw it.
Why am I writing about this today? Well, today is the late L.M. Montgomery’s 141st birthday! If you don’t know who she is, you probably know her most famous book: Anne of Green Gables. I have read the Anne series every summer since I was eleven years old (no judging), and I still love her to this day.
And so, in honor of Lucy Maude Montgomery and in the hopes that you might get to enjoy some of the magic this beloved author left behind as well, here are 15 truths I learned from Anne of Green Gables to live and to love by…
1. Positivity is a choice.
“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
2. Money doesn’t = happiness.
“Look at that sea, girls–all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds.” ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
3. Nature is good for the soul.
“It was November–the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul.” ANNE OF THE ISLAND
4. Some things are best left unspoken.
“I don’t know, I don’t want to talk as much. (…) It’s nicer to think dear, pretty thoughts and keep them in one’s heart, like treasures. I don’t like to have them laughed at or wondered over.” ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
5. The journey is half the fun.
“You mayn’t get the things themselves; but nothing can prevent you from having the fun of looking forward to them.” ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
6. Marry your best friend.
“But I’ll have to ask you to wait a long time, Anne,” said Gilbert sadly. “It will be three years before I’ll finish my medical course. And even then there will be no diamond sunbursts and marble halls.” Anne laughed. “I don’t want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want YOU…” ANNE OF THE ISLAND
7. Live for things unseen.
She was richer in those dreams than in realities; for things seen pass away, but the things that are unseen are eternal….“The little things of life, sweet and excellent in their place, must not be the things lived for; the highest must be sought and followed; the life of heaven must be begun here on earth.” ANNE OF THE ISLAND
8. Alone is not the same as lonely.
“Even when I’m alone I have real good company — dreams and imaginations and pretendings. I like to be alone now and then, just to think over things and taste them. But I love friendships — and nice, jolly little times with people.” ANNE’S HOUSE OF DREAMS
9. We were made for more.
“It’s so beautiful that it hurts me,’ said Anne softly. ‘What is the reason that pain like this seems inseparable from perfection? Is it the pain of finality — when we realise that there can be nothing beyond but retrogression?’ ‘Perhaps,’ said Owen dreamily, ‘it is the prisoned infinite in us calling out to its kindred infinite as expressed in that visible perfection.” ANNE’S HOUSE OF DREAMS
10. Read good books.
“My library isn’t very extensive but every book in it is a friend.” ANNE’S HOUSE OF DREAMS
11. Being a mother is an amazing, heart-wrenching, full-time job.
She stooped repentantly, gloatingly over them. They were still hers . . . wholly hers, to mother and love and protect. They still came to her with every love and grief of their little hearts. For a few years longer they would be hers . . . and then? Anne shivered. Motherhood was very sweet . . . but very terrible. “I wonder what life holds for them,” she whispered.” ANNE OF INGLESIDE
12. Never allow yourself to grow bitter.
“Time is kinder than we think,’ thought Anne. ‘It’s a dreadful mistake to cherish bitterness for years…hugging it to our hearts like a treasure.” ANNE OF INGLESIDE
13. If you look for beauty and adventure, you will find it.
“She seemed to walk in an atmosphere of things about to happen.” ANNE OF AVONLEA
14. Do the right thing.
“But it ain’t our feelings we have to steer by through life–no, no, we’d make shipwreck mighty often if we did that. There’s only the one safe compass and we’ve got to set our course by that–what it’s right to do.” ANNE OF AVONLEA
15. There’s always tomorrow…
“Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it… Yet.” ANNE OF GREEN GABLES