Jonathan Crombie, the actor known to fans as Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables mini-series fame, died this month. My daughter, Devin, tweeted,
The New Yorker published Why We Loved Gilbert Blythe by Sarah Larson. In the article, Larson explains,
The “Anne” series let us dream about adolescence while holding on to childhood. The world of Avonlea, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, the apple blossoms and the knickers and caps, dance cards, hay rides, Gilbert’s patient and steadfast heart—was gentler than what we might have imagined about adolescence. It wasn’t “The Breakfast Club,” and that was, on some secret level, very exciting—a last moment of being able to enjoy gentler childhood ideals. “Anne of Green Gables” appealed to those impulses without condescending to us. It wasn’t exactly cool. It had no edge. You didn’t want to race into school and announce that you were obsessed with “Anne of Green Gables.” But, to your bosom friend, you could discuss its many joys to your heart’s content.
When I was an adolescent, I didn’t read literature, a shame. But my daughter did. She read, and read, and read, and read, and because Anne of Green Gables became her friend, Devin introduced Anne to me. I saw Devin in Anne and Anne in Devin. We quoted her,
Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?
Coincidentally, just last week one afternoon my youngest son, J.P., wanted to watch an “educational movie” and dug through old DVDs to find one. He pulled out a non-descript DVD with “Anne of Green Gables” scribbled on it with a Sharpie marker. As the poor quality DVD played, J.P. became enthralled. I explained to him how much his sister had loved this story. Then I sat and watched with him for a bit because I know these days gentle days are too brief.
My eyes filled with tears as I remembered gentler times when Devin was a child, “Anne with an e” was her kindred spirit, and Gilbert Blythe was patient and steadfast.
Are you a fan of Anne of Green Gables? What literature helped you through adolescence? What books have you read together as a family? What are your favorite movies based on a book?
Misty-eyed ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc