Happy Mother’s Day! Since I was a kid and first read ‘Anne of Green Gables’ by Lucy Maud Montgomery, I wanted to come and visit this island that inspired the wonderful stories of the orphan girl Anne Shirley who finds a home at Green Gables. My mom and I use to watch the movies on Sunday afternoons, mooning over handsome Gilbert Blythe but more so marveling at the beautiful scenery. So there could be no better way to spend mother’s day than with my mom and my baby exploring the wonderful Prince Edward Island in Canada.
Just down the road from our hotel was the Prince Edward Island National Park. We took a lovely morning walk along the coast watching as the water kissed the red sand of the beach. We loved picking up giant shells as we walked. Lucy Maud Montgomery really put P.E.I. on the map with her stories. She once said about her beautiful island “You never know what peace is until you walk on the shores or in the fields or along the winding red roads of Prince Edward Island in a summer twilight when the dew is falling and the old stars are peeping out and the sea keeps its mighty tryst with the little land it loves.” And after walking along the sand of the national park, nothing could be more true than those words.
We then made our way along one of the 4 main scenic tours of the island, the one on the north shore aptly named the ‘Green Gables Loop’. We saw the little house where Lucy Maud Montgomery was born and the cemetery that she is buried in next to her husband. We drove through some beautiful farmland areas. But it was not until we saw the big white barn with the Anne of Green Gables Museum printed on it that my 8 year old self screamed with excitement. This house and farm belonged to family of Lucy Maud Montgomery and she spent most of her time here. Her mother passed away when she was very young and with her father working her extended family took care of her. Now the house is a museum dedicated to the author and is filled with antiques of her family, beautiful journal entries of hers, and the Anne books translated into hundreds of languages. Lucy Maud Montgomery was married in this parlor and to this day people from all over the world come to get married in the same place. The lake in front of the house was the original ‘Lake of Shining Waters’ and the trees behind were’ The Haunted Wood’. I bought a complete set of the Anne books anxiously awaiting the day Tessa would read them and not just chew on the pages. We played outside the barn where they have set up a small playground and listening to the my baby giggle so happily was magic.
After enjoying the museum, we made our way along the Anne tour to the beautiful green gabled house that inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery. This house belonged to a family friend and young Lucy thought it was the most beautiful house in the world and so when she began writing this house was the backdrop to her stories. Later on, Lucy Maud Montgomery bought the house and was part of the preservation of it as a landmark. Tours take you through the house, which is a lovely tribute to the time period, but the real thrill is see it from the outside. There is plenty of kitsch around too, but you can’t come to Green Gables and not put on the red haired wig.
Spending Mother’s Day on the Anne Tour was perfect- not just because I got to share the experience with my mom and the girl that made me a mom, but also because of the reminder that this place is about family and love. We are all loved by moms, grandmas, aunts, friends, and neighbors who love us and care for us. It is that beautiful care and nurturing that we celebrate on mother’s day. Lucy Maud Montgomery felt that from her family members that cared for her after her mother passed away. Anne Shirley felt that from the Cuthberts who adopted her and her friend Diana Berry. No matter how or if someone is related, that ‘mother’s love’ they give is special and means so much to us. Anne was right, we might all be kindred spirits after all.