Queer Funny Ache of Beauty

The chickadees and I started Anne of Green Gables last week.  We like to have some leisure reading after dinner, and it’s been the perfect way for me to read all the classics I missed out on in my childhood.  Can you believe I’ve never read Anne of Green Gables?  I LOVE it!

Here is a little passage for your weekend that struck me as a familiar feeling.  Anne is riding to her new home from the orphanage with her new guardian Matthew Cuthbert.

The “Avenue” so called by the Newbridge people, was a stretch of road four or five hundred yards long, completely arched over with huge, wide-spreading apple trees, planted years ago by an eccentric old farmer.  Overhead was one long canopy of snowy fragrant bloom.  Below the boughs the air was full of purple twilight and far ahead a glimpse of painted sunset sky shone like a great rose window at the end of a cathedral aisle.

Its beauty seemed to strike the child dumb.  She leaned back in the buggy, her thin hands clasped before her, her face lifted rapturously to the white splendor above…

She came out of her reverie with a deep sigh and looked at him with the dreamy gaze of a soul that had been wandering afar, star-led.

“Oh, Mr. Cuthbert,” she whispered, “that place we came through–that white place–what was it?”

“Well now, you must mean the Avenue,” said Matthew after a few moments’ profound reflection.  “it is a kind of pretty place.”

“Pretty?  Oh, pretty doesn’t seem the right word to use.  Nor beautiful, either.  They don’t go far enough.  Oh, it was wonderful–wonderful.  It’s the first thing I ever saw that couldn’t be improved upon by imagination.  It just satisfied me here”–she put one hand on her breast–“it made a queer funny ache and yet it was a pleasant ache.  Did you ever have an ache like that, Mr. Cuthbert?”

Yes, Anne, yes!  I have had that queer funny yet pleasant ache.  It is a familiar pang to those lovers of the wild beauty of nature.


I remember it especially this day.  It was one of those dreamy, out-of-body, otherworldly kind of days.  We encountered more goats and sheep than people as we explored this rugged Mediterranean coastline.  Isn’t the beauty of nature best marveled in the scant company of one or two?  That is what made the day so perfect.  And my eyes couldn’t register the beauty fast enough.


Mallorca, Spain

And, the ache, I know it well.

Have a beautiful weekend, everyone!  And thank you so much for the encouragement and shopping support of The Painted House Joss & Main sale…it’s the last day!

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  1. Where have I been…your comments are back! I’m so glad! Anne of Green Gables (and the miniseries) holds a special place in my heart and based on this post, I get the sense that you and I are kindred spirits a la Anne and Diana.

  2. I never read Anne of Green Gables either as a child. Guess I need to add that one to the list. By the way, just posted about your sale – sorry it’s so late. My toe has gotten me totally off schedule. I did a little mood board with some of your fabulous picks!

  3. Yes the ache!! It is the PERFECT word… an ache.
    It is our hearts: seeing something we have never seen and yet we have seen. Something yet to be. We want to HOLD onto it, and yet, the holding-on cannot be on this side of Heaven.

  4. i fell in love with the “anne” series on PBS a few years ago. sadly, this english major has never read the book. but I adore anne’s character.

  5. Love love love these books. She will stay with you forever!!

  6. Susan says:

    I loved Anne. A favorite of mine. I am surprised that I didn’t read the books to my children…not sure why. I read so many others. We really enjoyed the movies though.

  7. polly says:

    Classics. I love Anne. And you would probably love Emily, too–LM Montgomery also wrote an ‘Emily’ trilogy (Emily of New Moon, Emily Climbs, Emily’s Quest) and I ADORED Emily when I was younger. She was so much like me. So–read Emily’s books once you finish Anne’s……

  8. oh snap, you know I loved Anne. I even went on a trek with family all the way to Canada to see her “home” in Prince Edward Island when I was ten years old! hah. big fan here.

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