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L.M. Montgomery: Nature As Solace

Adriana Pacheco

"It always amazes me to look at the little, wrinkled brown seeds and think of the rainbows in 'em," said Captain Jim. "When I ponder on them seeds I don't find it nowise hard to believe that we've got souls that'll live in other worlds. You couldn't hardly believe there was life in them tiny things, some no bigger than grains of dust, let alone color and scent, if you hadn't seen the miracle, could you?"-L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House Of Dreams  

Lucy Maud Montgomery grew up as an only child, raised by an elderly couple. She was often lonely- a feeling that would pervade, even as she moved into adulthood and had a family of her own. She turned to nature and writing for solace, finding companionship in letting her imagination free and appreciating the natural beauty around her.

It can be no surprise then that her love of and connection to nature permeates her fictional stories, as well as her journals and personal letters.

“L.M. Montgomery’s writings are replete with enchanting yet subtle and fluid depictions of nature that convey her intense appreciation for the natural world. “-L.M. Montgomery and The Matter of Nature

Throughout all of her novels, nature is always described in such a sensory way. When you read a passage, that describes the splendor of the scenery, you can close your eyes and imagine you are there. That you are spending an evening in a garden in Glenn St. Mary or walking a path in Carlisle.

“Over a valley filled with beech and spruce was a sunset afterglow—creamy yellow and a hue that was not so much red as the dream of red, with a young moon swung low in it. The air was sweet with the breath of mown hayfields where swaths of clover had been steeping in the sun. Wild roses grew pinkly along the fences, and the roadsides were star-dusted with buttercups.”- L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

Her love of gardening, which acted as a balm for her soul, was obvious throughout her writing as well. Montgomery loved to tend her garden, nurturing the growing things like she would nurture the musings that would lead to story ideas. And she gifted this love to her characters, often having them in garden settings.

“Oh, I never like the vegetable garden,” said the Story Girl. “Except when I am hungry. Then I DO like to go and look at the nice little rows of onions and beets. But I love a flower garden. I think I could be always good if I lived in a garden all the time.”- L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

The gift of Montgomery’s writings about nature, is that through her eyes we are encouraged to see the magic of the natural world; to stop and look, instead of walking on by. To nurture the green growing things of the world and form a connection to the natural beauty around us.

 

For more about L.M. Montgomery’s love of the natural world, and her life, we suggest the following reads:

Lucy Maud Montgomery The Gift of Wings By Mary Henley Rubio

The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery Vol I 1889-1910

The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery Vol II 1910-1921

Imagining Anne: L.M. Montgomery's Island Scrapbooks

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