Dear L. M. Montgomery

An open letter to one of my favorite authors

I have read all your books and most of your short stories. Every one has felt like reading a bit of my soul put onto paper. (Except Pat of Silver Bush/Mistress Pat. I just couldn’t feel a kindred spirit to someone who enjoyed the sound of June bugs hitting the window screen at night.)

As a child, your books showed me that there were girls who lived their lives the way I dreamed to inside my soul. They celebrated whimsy and treasured the little moments of life, seeing the magic in every day. Knowing Anne and Jane and others were bold enough to share those thoughts and feelings with their friends and family gave me to courage to take my sunshine worldview out into my world. If Anne could tell her friends how she imagined fairies and would name favorite walks “Lover’s Lane” then I could share my internal thoughts as well. As a child, I knew this would be the happiest life to live, focusing on little joys.

Every one of your books, L.M., feels like an Autumn day. To me, they capture the most important things in life. They celebrate the wonderful moments of ordinary life. The joys of family and relationships and the little moments that bring laughter. They taught me the value that was so perfectly express in the movie About Time: “I just try to live every day as if I’ve deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the final, full day of my extraordinary, ordinary life. . . We’re all traveling through time together. Every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride.”

Some people might look at Anne, and all your stories, and see fluff. Inconsequential, whimsical thinking which is entirely disconnected from the reality of the world. I see the opposite. There is a power of joy and hope in your stories. As I spent my childhood reading them, they build a foundation in me of seeing the best in people and the world. Choosing hope in seemingly hopeless situations.

I want to thank you, L. M. Montgomery, for giving me stories which showed me it was possible to live the whimsical life I imagined. You taught me the value of hope and optimism, giving me the exact pieces I needed to combine with my relationship with Jesus for a joyous life. Your stories gave me the freedom to be the kind of girl I knew I was inside. I found friends who understood my soul in your stories.

Thank you.

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