Anne of Green Gables
You know, I've always lived in a big city. And most of the time I love it: the ease of shopping for fresh fruit as well as for Christmas presents, the proximity to the theatre and ballet and top restaurants.
But... deep inside I wonder what it would be like to live on Prince Edward Island. Not the one today, with a car bridge and a museum devoted to Lucy Maud Montgomery, but in that beautiful hundred-years ago island accessible only by ferry or imagination.
People who've lived in small communities tell me it's hateful, particularly if you're a non-conformist individual with ideas, ambitions and a desire to stand out of the crowd. Small communities don't like achievers. Hmmm, come to think of it, that sounds exactly like New Zealand, so perhaps I'm living on my dream island already. If that's the case, I'm loving it! I have access to all the shopping I want (in the nearby Melbourne) and the restaurants (Sydney), and I've experienced my share of being shunned as a tall poppy. Plus, Auckland's weather way beats Canada's snowy winters.
Anyway, I always read the Anne series when I need perspective. It helps me remember to open my eyes and look at the way the moon shines across the bay and listen to the dryads laugh in the trees. It helps me believe that goodwill will conquer small-mindedness every time. And it lets me marvel at how inept novel-writing was a mere century ago.