14 February 2012

Well Written, um, Tuesdays: a knight riding down

"What are you thinking of, Anne?" asked Gilbert, coming down the walk. He had left his horse and buggy out at the road.

"Of Miss Lavendar and Mr. Irving," answered Anne dreamily. "Isn't it beautiful to think how everything has turned out . . . how they have come together again after all the years of separation and misunderstanding?"

"Yes, it's beautiful," said Gilbert, looking steadily down into Anne's uplifted face, "but wouldn't it have been more beautiful still, Anne, if there had been no separation or misunderstanding. . . if they had come hand in hand all the way through life, with no memories behind them but those which belonged to each other?"

For a moment Anne's heart fluttered queerly and for the first time her eyes faltered under Gilbert's gaze and a rosy flush stained the paleness of her face. It was as if a veil that had hung before her inner consciousness had been lifted, giving to her view a revelation of unsuspected feelings and realities. Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music; perhaps . . . perhaps . . . love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.


I read that passage, from the last chapter of L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Avonlea, sometime in middle school. And several times again in high school and at least once again in college. (I like Anne.) It seemed so wonderful to me, I decided that my own love story was going to follow that pattern too: romance unfolding "naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath."

I would have a solid friendship with a boy before I ever dated him. We would have a long history together, not some breakneck getting-to-know-you drama. It would come upon us gradually, without awkward questions or surprises or (worst of all) uncertainty. Suddenly we'd both know.


Instead I got a boy whom I sort of knew, but not really, writing me long letters expressly for the purpose of courtship while we both scrambled to finish our senior years at college. There were awkward questions, plenty of surprises, and decidedly dramatic uncertainties. We worked and wondered and Defined the Relationship and sought counsel and cried (well I did) and then got the whole shebang wrapped up within a breakneck year.

Orange Colored Sky by Natalie Cole on Grooveshark

So much for the "old friend through quiet ways!" And so much for the lack of pomp and blare. Dating Jared was a step from zero to sixty-- everybody knew it. I got swept off my feet in spite of myself.

Well, Happy Valentine's Day, dear husband. Our romance has been anything but "seeming prose," and I wouldn't change a thing.

{image: "The Overthrowing of the Rusty Knight" by Arthur Hughes}

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