A little over one hundred years ago, a young woman told the preacher who wanted to marry her that she could not leave her aging, ailing grandmother alone. This grandmother, though stern, had raised the young woman lovingly since her mother died of tuberculosis when she was not yet two. The young woman could not move away with him to his new parish. And so she could not marry him.
He left, promising to return for her. The young woman cared for her grandmother day after day, escaping to a room on the second floor of their house to stare out the window at the farm fields and write for hours. She had already published several poems and short stories. A couple of years later, she published her first book: Anne of Green Gables.
Lucy Maude Montgomery wrote about the view from that second floor room. I had the chance to visit the grounds of her old house on Prince Edward Island, now just a stone foundation and surviving well. But the view she wrote about is still there. The photo doesn’t quite do it justice.
Incidentally, the preacher waited. Five years after his first proposal, he returned to marry Ms. Montgomery.