There is no use in loving things if you have to be torn from them.
Poor Anne is caught between a beautiful dream and what seems like her lot in life, to be unwanted and homeless.
“Oh, isn’t it wonderful?” she said, waving her hand comprehensively at the whole good world outside. […] “Oh, I don’t mean just the tree; of course it’s lovely – yes, it’s radiantly lovely – it blooms as if it meant it – but I meant everything, the garden and the orchard and the brook and the woods, the whole big dear world. Don’t you feel as if you just loved the world on a morning like this?”
I love the way Anne draws attention to the smaller beauties of the world.
“I’m pretty hungry this morning,” she announced, as she slipped into the chair Marilla placed for her. “The world doesn’t seem such a howling wilderness as it did last night. I’m so glad it’s a sunshiny morning. But I like rainy mornings real well, too. All sorts of mornings are interesting, don’t you think? You don’t know what’s going to happen through the day, and there’s so much scope for imagination. But I’m glad it’s not rainy today because it’s easier to be cheerful and bear up under affliction on a sunshiny day. I feel that I have a good deal to bear up under. It’s all very well to read about sorrows and imagine yourself living through them, but it’s not so nice when you really come to have them, is it?”
This girl has no brain-to-mouth filter and it makes Marilla incredibly uncomfortable (which in turn makes her curt).
Marilla has determined to get to the bottom of the whole orphan mix up by visiting Mrs. Spencer in person (with Anne in tow, of course), but in the mean time Anne volunteers to wash dishes and Marilla assigns her various other small chores. But when she gives her leave to play outside, she stoically refuses.
“I don’t dare go out,” said Anne, in the tone of a martyr relinquishing all earthly joys. “If I can’t stay here there is no use in my loving Green Gables. And if I go out there and get acquainted with all those trees and flowers and the orchard and the brook I’ll not be able to help loving it. I want to go out so much […] – but it’s better not. There is no use in loving things if you have to be torn from them, is there? And it is so hard to keep from loving things, isn’t it? That was why I was so glad when I thought I was going to live here. I thought I’d have so many things to love and nothing to hinder me. But that brief dream is over.”
This really resonated with me. I’m not an orphan, but I’ve moved around enough to know the pain of being uprooted from places so frequently that you despair of ever finding firm ground, being free to love a place.
“She is kind of interesting, as Matthew says. I can feel already that I’m wondering what on earth she’ll say next. She’ll be casting a spell over me, too. She’s cast it over Matthew. That look he gave me when he want out said everything he said or hinted at last night over again. I wish he was like other men and would talk things out. A body could answer back then and argue him into reason. But what’s to be done with a man who just looks?”
Matthew’s a lot like me – he’s mostly content to defer to defer to the wishes of others, but every once in a while he stumbles on a hill that he refuses to move from. And he takes action, too, telling a boy he’ll hire him for the summer in place of the expected orphan – much to Marilla’s chagrin.
There is nothing more aggravating than a man who won’t talk back – unless it is a woman who won’t.
Until next time…