“Going around by the main road would have been so unromantic; but to go by Lover’s Lane and Willowmere and Violet Vale and the Birch Path was romantic, if ever anything was.”
~ Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery
I was only nine on the cusp of turning ten, so the memories are perhaps not so reliable, and of course, our memories are always tainted by the limited awareness and perception we have in the snapshot of a moment anyway.
I might even romanticize, what flashes in the turning upwards of my lips into a smile, what precious happiness there might have been, there and then… on The Princely Isle.
The walk along Balsam Hollow Trail, at Anne of Green Gables. A father’s thick calloused hand, made so by hard labour in a factory by day, and saws and hammers and nails in building on weekends, holds his daughter’s protectively. The ground made smooth by thousands, maybe millions of steps before them. A canopy of green, alluring, beckoning trees, a brook laughing itself in the hollow, vagabonds of the orange spotted Touch-Me-Not’s and Blue Violet’s delighting the senses.
A daughter, happy to be inhabiting her father’s world in this magical place, who takes pleasure in her mother’s arm around her shoulder as they pause and pose for a lifetime cherished photo.
What speaks to the heart, what inspires, what moves, what calls to that holy place where hopes and dreams find a stronghold to draw up, and down, and inward that are destined to burst outward, somehow, this delight, is so very different for each one of us.
Our magical place where we come alive, I think if we dig we can trace it back to a door that opened in childhood… to give us a peek, or to mold us and shape us and steer us back toward it if we’ve forgotten.
When I came across this photo doing research on Prince Edward Island… my heart skipped a beat as a flash, a lightening fast remembrance of perhaps THE moment when the concept of being a writer was set in motion. I was a reader from a very young age, oh yes I escaped in Nancy Drew seeking clues in her mysteries, I reveled in stories, but until perchance THIS moment when we came upon L.M. Montgomery’s typewriter, I had never given consideration to the ones, the marvelous ones who wrote, who dreamed up the stories and made them come alive on the page.
I’ve had this thing, this fixation, this happiness, this drawing to… anything coastal, anything horses, anything featuring writers… television shows, books, films… if it has any one of these elements in it, I’m there, enchanted, watching or reading… if it has a combination of any two of these things… oh boy! Maybe it all started in that dreamy time in PEI… when I was a young girl.
What sparks in childhood come alive in us? What dreams await for us to remember?
Researching, remembering, contemplating, and painting my piece for PEI in the Canada Series, The Princely Isle seemed to have touched a special place, a special remembering place inside.
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It has always seemed to me, ever since childhood, amid all the commonplaces of life, I was very near to a kingdom of ideal beauty. Between it and me hung only a thin veil. I could never draw it quite inside, but sometimes a wind fluttered it and I caught a glimpse of the enchanting realms beyond – only a glimpse – but those glimpses have always made life worthwhile.”
~ L.M. Montgomery
What dreams may come for you, in your remembering places?