Anne of Green Gables

Yesterday when I was having lunch it dawned on me that I am what you call a passionate person.

I asked the question of the group who w dining at a local Ultimo Cafe, what movie defined their childhood. Given that one of the lunch guests was mid seventies, his answer was a book….but it took much prompting to get that from him.

Others had delayed responses, little excitement in their voice and even fewer hand gestures. Another factor might have been jet lag, two of the party having taken international flights a couple of weeks back…..

But really, when it boiled down to it….in my opinion, this kind of question allows a passionate person to go to town, to reminisce and indulge in a time gone by, and recount how said movie changed the course of ones life.

The movie I offered up was ‘ Anne of Green Gables’

The title alone should send shivers down a passionate person’s spine, could very well cause water to well in eyes, bring on contagious smiling, bouts of blushing,girlish giggles.

How many times did I watch this film at a 10 year old? Countless.

Why did I love Anne, the red-haired beauty from Prince Edward Island, Canada? Because she was bold, brave, lived in her head and loved with her whole heart.

This movie shaped me as a young girl, it was the very first film I recall sobbing uncontrollably to when kind-hearted Matthew, Anne’s adoptive Father, passed away. I think I hid my tears well, as no one in my family came near me, but I cried and cried – to the point where I could not even understand my sadness.

Today, I have come to understand why this on screen death deeply affected me – Matthew was a quiet, unassuming man, second fiddle to Marilla,  Anne’s formidable adoptive Mother. Marilla was the disciplinary and Matthew was advised ‘ not to put his oar in’ when it came to child rearing.

So he stayed in the background, but that was where he was most comfortable and could do the most good. He loved Anne, it shone through all his actions, was evident in the very few words he spoke.

Besotted by her, whole heartedly captivated by her spirit and energy, it brought out the best in him too – he adored her, spoilt her, mostly with the gift any child most wants – love, but with the occasional material possessions too – a beautiful blue ball gown with ‘ puffed sleeves’ (20 pounds of brown sugar accompanied this dress purchase- having struggled to articulate the real reason behind his shopping expedition, sugar preceeded dress sale)

In many ways Matthew was, and very much is, a version of my own Father.

My Father’s actions have always spoken louder than words – and his love for me is on display in everything he has ever done and continues to do, hopefully for many years to come.

This is but one reason I identify with this movie so strongly, so passionately, with tear filled eyes and runny nose. I saw myself and those I hold dear to me in the characters so beautifully acted out in the 1985 Canadian telemovie.

Oh, there is so much more I could say….this movie prompted a road trip to Prince Edward Island when I found myself in Canada is 2002, on the search for my own personal Gilbert with childhood friend Leonie and her P.E.I beau, Darin. The bouts of melancholy the film induced if watched on repeat in my teens….My love for the country Canada that runs oh so deep…..

But as a passionate person you have to learn to tell stories in short burst.

Sensing my enthusiasm for Anne of Green Gables was a little too much for my lunch guests I keep the account to under 2 minutes and then new that the rest of the tale was for my blog post.

Lucky readers….

To Be Continued.

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