Life hurtles on...
at the moment, I am so tired I can hardly hold my head up. But it's that sleepy, contented weariness, with a small, blissful smile playing around the corners of my mouth - the kind of weariness when you wish for nothing more than to lie down and reflect, to sort out the thousand and one ideas, memories, plans, priorities, and simply recharge after a whirl of joyous productivity.
Saturday I was in Moscow, ID with my brother, watching some friends compete in the State robotics competition. Their team, Intelligent Design, did wonderfully, and the whole trip down there was so much fun. Sunday we also spent with friends, while the days in between have been filled with design work, a taffy-pulling party, a Wall Tent sleepover, a project DOTT with Tasha and both our brothers, and prepping for the Literary Heroine Blog Party! I wish I had pictures to share, but unfortunately I have none at the moment;(
My life up here in my tent in the woods is mostly that of an extreme hermit in the winter months, usually seeing the world outside our long, snowy driveway once a week, if that - so I've been quite delighted by this deluge of merriment!
And tomorrow, I turn twenty.
I well remember the first time I read the Anne books. When I was a little girl of nine, I first met her, and she has become so much more to me than merely Anne of Green Gables. She is Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne of the perfect House of Dreams. And most importantly, she is Anne, the inspiration and confidante for my passionate love of the beauty, the thrill, the adventure of everyday life - for when is the grand adventure to come if we do not welcome it with open arms and open minds every moment of our lives?
“You always seemed to have some secret delight … as if every day of life was an adventure."
So Anne was described. And I want to be like that, too.
And as I read and re-read each and every story following Anne's journey to womanhood over the years, I felt as if she was always somehow just my age, and always would be. At fourteen, I would follow Anne's children into Rainbow Valley and see herself, Mrs. Doctor dear, sitting on the veranda of Ingleside doing mending... but somehow, she was still my age, perfectly sympathizing with my fourteen-year-old joys and sorrows. And as I slowly grow up, there she is, right beside me. Now we're turning twenty, and though I've imagined what it might be like, I now finally see myself as I am, arrived at two decades.
"Anne laughed and sighed. She felt very old and mature and wise -- which showed how young she was. She told herself that she longed greatly to go back to those dear merry days when life was seen through a rosy mist of hope and illusion, and possessed an indefinable something that had passed away forever. Where was it now -- the glory and the dream?"
"To think that this is my twentieth birthday, and that I've left my teens behind me forever," said Anne, who was curled up on the hearth-rug with Rusty in her lap, to Aunt Jamesina who was reading in her pet chair. They were alone in the living room. Stella and Priscilla had gone to a committee meeting and Phil was upstairs adorning herself for a party.
"I suppose you feel kind of sorry" said Aunt Jamesina. "The 'teens are such a nice part of life. I'm glad I've never gone out of them myself."
"You never will, Aunty. You'll be eighteen when you should be a hundred. Yes, I'm sorry, and a little dissatisfied as well. Miss Stacy told me long ago that by the time I was twenty my character would be formed, for good or evil. I don't feel that it's what it should be. It's full of flaws."
"So's everybody's," said Aunt Jamesina cheerfully. "Mine's cracked in a hundred places. Your Miss Stacy likely meant that when you are twenty your character would have got its permanent bent in one direction or 'tother, and would go on developing in that line. Don't fret over it, Anne. Do your duty by God and your neighbor and yourself, and have a good time. That's my philosophy and it's always worked pretty well...."
Dear Aunt Jamesina. Why can't we all remain in our 'teens? I think it's because we are afraid to hold on to that sense of wonder, of the thrill and mystery of the entire world unfolding before us. Life is holding out the sparkling allure of a new, untasted adventure, and as we grow older, collect more experience of the often bitter realities of life, we let slip our grasp on that first simple faith in the beauty of the everyday. Because it does take faith. And faith takes courage.
But the reward is a life of unlimited beauty and adventure, no matter where we find ourselves, or what circumstances we have to live with.
Don't be afraid to grow older. Age is really of no importance, nor is the list of self-made accomplishments you have still undone. As long as you are living a life given to Christ, following His leading, you are living the greatest, most fulfilling adventure of all.
And that is what makes this life beautiful.
See you tomorrow! Are you ready to party?