The Spirit of Canada

 

LUCY MAUD MONTGOMERY

Peace! You never know what peace is until you walk on the shores or in the fields of the winding red roads of Abegweit on a summer twilight when the dew is falling and the old stars are peeping out and the sea keeps its nightly tryst with the little land it loves. You find your soul then…you realize that youth is not a vanished thing but something that dwells forever in the heart. As you look around on the dimming landscape of haunted and long white sand beach and murmuring ocean, on homestead lights and old fields by dead and gone generations who loved them, you will say, ‘Why…I have come home.

                                                Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)

                                                From: The Spirit of Canada

 

          The writings of Lucy Maud Montgomery have captured the imaginations of countless generations. As you travel around the Island, it is obvious that many tourists, often from Japan, have come to the Island as a literary and, I might add, a spiritual pilgrimage, to experience the world of L.M. Montgomery.  So many Japanese visitors are drawn to PEI because of their love of the Anne of Green Gables series. The Japanese students are introduced to Anne as part of their curriculum. This book served as a psychological aide to so many Japanese children who were orphaned after World War II; they could readily identify with the Anne character who overcame adversity and lived a hopeful and creative life. Lucy Maud Montgomery was orphaned herself and much of the story line of the Anne series is mirrored in Lucy’s real life. F.W. P. Bolger, an Island historian who embodies so much of the spirit of the Island, wrote that Lucy Maud Montgomery developed three prominent passions very early in life: “First of all, she developed a love of nature; secondly, a love of books; and thirdly, a love of expressing herself in writing.”  The author portrayed the slower pace and congenial manner of the past, but she is still relevant to the ambience of today’s circumstances. I highly recommend that you view the video of Anne of Green Gables before you journey to the Island, for it does portray the Island scenery; even better, a family reading of Anne with youngsters would be highly effective.

 

An Anne of Green Gables Attraction

        While touring PEI, I highly recommended attending the play, Anne of Green Gables, that has been performed for over 40 years in Charlottetown at the Confederation Centre of the Arts [tickets: 1-800-565-0278]. This energetic musical will delight all ages. A continuation of the early years of Anne is portrayed in the very professional musical Anne and Gilbert that is presented in the beautiful Harbourfront Jubilee Theatre in Summerside [tickets: 1-800-708-6505]. In addition to the Anne musicals, there are other theatrical performances of groups that capture the character of the Island.  The website for further theatrical information is www.confederationcentre.com.

   

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