Thanksgiving is now another memory tucked away to be recalled when nostalgia kicks in after a few months. Of course, the dreaded Black Friday shopping experience—containing all the miseries of purgatory—is left behind in the escape to December.
The magical month of December awaits us on Tuesday after we say our final good-byes to November 2015. In many ways November has been a difficult month on this planet traversing the cosmos for many of us.
We thought we would end this monthly trek with a poem by Lucy Maud Montgomery, the Canadian author. Ms. Montgomery is most remembered and loved for her series—Anne of Green Gables.
However, she wrote short stories and poetry as well. She was born November 30, 1874 on Prince Edward Island.
Unfortunately her mother, Clara Woolner Macneill Montgomery, died before Lucy was two. Her mother was 23 years of age.
Her father Hugh John gave full custody of her to the Macneills, Lucy’s maternal grandparents Alexander and Lucy. For the literary world this was a blessing, but Lucy experienced a very lonely childhood in which she allowed her imagination to create playmates under the Macneills’ religious strictness.
Additional information about this remarkable woman is in the references below as well as in her written works online.
Here is her poem November Evening:
Come, for the dusk is our own; let us fare forth together,
With a quiet delight in our hearts for the ripe, still, autumn weather,
Through the rustling valley and wood and over the crisping meadow,
Under a high-sprung sky, winnowed of mist and shadow.
Sharp is the frosty air, and through the far hill-gaps showing
Lucent sunset lakes of crocus and green are glowing;
‘Tis the hour to walk at will in a wayward, unfettered roaming,
Caring for naught save the charm, elusive and swift, of the gloaming.
Watchful and stirless the fields as if not unkindly holding
Harvested joys in their clasp, and to their broad bosoms folding
Baby hopes of a Spring, trusted to motherly keeping,
Thus to be cherished and happed through the long months of their sleeping.
Silent the woods are and gray; but the firs than ever are greener,
Nipped by the frost till the tang of their loosened balsam is keener;
And one little wind in their boughs, eerily swaying and swinging,
Very soft and low, like a wandering minstrel is singing.
Beautiful is the year, but not as the spring like maiden
Garlanded with her hopes ¬rather the woman laden
With wealth of joy and grief, worthily won through living,
Wearing her sorrow now like a garment of praise and thanksgiving.
Gently the dark comes down over the wild, fair places,
The whispering glens in the hills, the open, starry spaces;
Rich with the gifts of the night, sated with questing and dreaming,
We turn to the dearest of paths where the star of the home light is gleaming.
As you leave November, may December be filled with starry spaces. May starlight embrace you with the gifts of the night. May the light of home always be seen on the horizon. May the music of home be carried by the winds like the minstrel of old to your ears to remember the sweet whispers of the maple logs in the ingle on a cold winter night.
G. D. Williams © 2015
The L M Montgomery Institute
As an only child living with an elderly couple, Montgomery found companionship in her imagination, nature, books, and especially writing. When she was nine, she began writing poetry and keeping a journal.
The Literature Network
Lucy Maud ‘Maud’ Montgomery was born into a long line of Scots-Canadian ancestors who first settled in P.E.I. in the late 1770s. Among their numbers were successful farmers, businessmen, and politicians. Lucy Maud was born on 30 November 1874 in the village of Clifton (now New London), Prince Edward Island, Canada. Her birthplace is now preserved as it was in her time. She was the only daughter of Hugh John Montgomery (1841-1900) and Clara ‘Tillie’ Woolner Macneill (1853-1876) who died of tuberculosis when Maud was twenty-one months old. Young Maud then went to live with her maternal grandparents Alexander Marquis Macneill (1820-1898) and Lucy Ann Woolner Macneill (1824-1911), staunch Presbyterians who maintained the Post Office for Cavendish, on P.E.I.’s north shore. Their rambling farm was the inspiration for “Green Gables”, now part of the Prince Edward Island Provincial Park, established in 1937.
Prince Edward Island
While Anne of Green Gables was named #14 on NPR’s Top 100 Teen Novels list, Lucy Maud penned many other novels and short pieces of fiction. The story of Anne spanned a series of eight novels, and other best-sellers included Emily of New Moon, Jane of Lantern Hill, Pat of Silver Bush, and The Story Girl. Many of her works went on to receive film adaptations.