We set upon a journey. Penney and I because we don't remember not knowing Green Gables. Claire to find her ancestors who came to PEI so long ago. The three girls, who had to read L.M.Montgomery through out the winter .Her books give flight to the imagination, and they had called themselves Diana and Jane and Ruby and had been already living here every time they got together. They are also planning to write a book. It will be the story of Matthew and Marillas lives before Anne. They have invited me to contribute a chapter! And then there is Moshe "Daniel Boone" Somero. A stalwart and stoic young man. Because all these giddy females need at least one person with their feet on the ground.
We stayed in a cottage right by the bay, where the tides came and went. Where the wind whispered in the trees. Where a sleek, fat murder of crows talked in the mornings. Where fishing boats came and went. Where we had a pure view of the osprey nest and we heard him and his Mrs. talking as he flew hither and yon on his journeys. Where the star fish colony lived under the wharf, and jelly fish floated about. Where we dug clams and ate them for breakfast. Where we toasted marshmallows and shivered with cold on a windy night.
And then, Green Gables. It is just what you remember, from your living in the book. Like every thing on PEI, the houses and farms are tidy and painted and neat. It looks like a lovely patch work quilt, alternating with red plowed fields and lush green pastures. Stitched together with roads, the squares tied with white farm houses and barns.
Marillas house was spic and span. We reveled in the kitchen and pantry where Anne made all her mistakes and learned her house keeping skills. Annes bed room, full of dreams. Marillas sparse room where the beautiful brooch got lost. Matthews bed. (Matthew is every ones favorite.) The parlor, where tea is set out. The cozy stove where Anne did her homework and ate apples. The red geraniums in the window. Just like we knew it would.
It was a most beautiful morning, so off we went to walk down Lovers Lane. It, too, was just how we knew it would be. The ferns were damp and fragrant in the morning dew. The forget me nots grew in huge baby blue patches. The brook danced and chuckled. The trees made shade and dim shadowy patches among the sunlight. The bridges creaked. Little baby squirrels played hide and seek in the rocks and birds flitted along with us. We found the dryads bubble, as blue as the forget me nots .
Back out in the sunshine we toured the barn and drank some raspberry cordials. (And did not get drunk!) A nice basket full of dress up. all clean and warm from the laundry. Sit and pose in Matthews buggy.
Off to the haunted wood we went! And just like Anne said, In the day light it is all gladsome and charming. But if you imagined the shadowy dusk, it would indeed be haunted with all the gory imaginary things you could dream up! Bare, boney arm branches and twigs groaning against each other and rabbits suddenly hopping out between your feet. "Diana and Jane and Ruby" held hands and peered about to see what they could see! We made it! The haunted wood led to Dianas house, but Dianas house is not there now. An old well. A hundred year old apple tree. The cemetery. Back through the haunted woods to Green Gables. We are sated and happy and we know that Green Gables and all of those old friends will always be here.
We had lunch in Avonlea, which is only a faux village. But the lunch was delicious and it was fun. Then we had the rest of our days to spend at the sea. Every night we would go there and find a different spot to feel the great heart beat of the world. The wind and the waves and the sand and the rocks and the caves and the sunsets and the blue sky and the blue water. If you didn't have obligations, I suppose you would never leave. Prince Edward Island baked potatoes with the works for supper is food for kings. The girls were faithful with their journaling. It was a pleasure to be with them, still too young to not be embarrassed about their joys and enthusiasm. Still not afraid to collect wonderful things that in a few years they probably would NEVER touch!
And we did go to Tignish. It was cold and windy. We parked at the beautiful old Catholic church and went searching in the cemetery for Claires people. (Almost like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack.) But we found them. Claire was so happy. Really. It made the whole trip even more worthwhile. I have this picture of her in my heart. Kneeling in the wind, brushing off the stone to better read the words. It was a holy feeling. That is when our stalwart, stoic young man, said " I never knew any body would be that excited over dead people". Gave us all a laugh!