I had a dentist appointment today, and I decided to make a day of it and get a sub. As I confided to a friend recently, I’ve been hiding in a sad little hole. “Time to peep out,” she said.
Maybe I do have a touch of seasonal affective disorder. (No diagnosis like a self-diagnosis.) But winter has been dragging me down.
Maybe it’s not the weather or the season, but rather other things that accompany this time of year. Second term—my school system operates on trimesters, of all things—is notoriously challenging: snow days that take away from instructional time, holiday breaks that repeatedly make students (and teachers) forget what it’s like to be on a routine, flu outbreaks, and just general dreariness and weariness on top of it all.
(I don’t know how I would survive third term if it weren’t springtime.)
And most bleak winters aren’t made bleaker by a series of school shootings and rumblings of weaponizing school staff.
But now that it’s almost March, there budding trees, blooming flowers, greening pastures.
And there is Anne Shirley.
I have, more than once, shut off my phone screen to silence that infuriating world of Facebook to replace it with Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Avonlea.
I listened to the original Anne of Green Gables a few years ago on Librivox. I’ve watched Anne with an “E” on Netflix. And now I own the Anneof Green Gables box set, and like little Paul Irving, I’m absorbed in a book of fairy tales.
That’s what it feels like.
I know Anne’s mind imagines the world in such a more fantastical way than the more sensible around her see, but even plain ol’ Avonlea seems like a dream to me.
Sometimes it angers me that the reason Anne, her friends, and the people of her village are all a-fluster is a building that’s been mistakenly painted blue instead of green. Don’t they know there are far more tragical things in this world over which to become distraught?!
But then again, it is nice to escape to Anne’s one-room school house where the children aren’t in fear of being gunned down and the most this schoolma’am has to do to protect her students is speak to them with both firmness and kindness.
This makes me both happy and sad. But a least there is happiness to be had there.
And here, as I sit by my own Lake of Shining Waters at the city park knitting, reading, writing this, and sipping what amounts to a free coffee from the local shop. The man on the bench across the lake just caught himself a big ol’ fish. There is a breeze. Muted sunshine. Twittering small birds. Honking geese.
Just a happy day.