{Our Very Own Rainbow Valley}

Rainbow Valley – L.M. Montgomery (from the Anne of Green Gables series)

“for evening revels there was no place like the little valley behind the maple grove. It was a fairy realm of romance to them. Once, looking from the attic windows of Ingleside, through the mist and aftermath of a summer thunderstorm, they had seen the beloved spot arched by a glorious rainbow, one end of which seemed to dip straight down to where a corner of the pond ran up into the lower end of the valley.
“Let us call it Rainbow Valley,” said Walter delightedly, and Rainbow Valley thenceforth it was.
Outside of Rainbow Valley the wind might be rollicking and boisterous. Here it always went gently. Little, winding, fairy paths ran here and there over spruce roots cushioned with moss. Wild cherry trees, that in blossom time would be misty white, were scattered all over the valley, mingling with the dark spruces. A little brook with amber waters ran through it from the Glen village. The houses of the village were comfortably far away; only at the upper end of the valley was a little tumble-down, deserted cottage, referred to as “the old Bailey house.” It had not been occupied for many years, but a grass-grown dyke surrounded it and inside was an ancient garden where the Ingleside children could find violets and daisies and June lilies still blooming in season. For the rest, the garden was overgrown with caraway that swayed and foamed in the moonshine of summer eves like seas of silver.

To the south lay the pond and beyond it the ripened distance lost itself in purple woods, save where, on a high hill, a solitary old gray homestead looked down on glen and harbour. There was a certain wild woodsiness and solitude about Rainbow Valley, in spite of its nearness to the village, which endeared it to the children of Ingleside.”

Don’t you just love L.M. Montgomery?

I do.

I get lost in the beauty of her descriptions and I long for a life like Anne’s: full of wonder, imagination, simplicity, and children.

But, I live in a suburban neighborhood on the central coast of California.

There are many differences.

But this Rainbow Valley they speak of.  I want that.  I want that for my daughter.

I want her to be like Walter:

“He was gazing now at the emerald-misted willows by the pond, and now at a flock of clouds, like little silver sheep, herded by the wind, that were drifting over Rainbow Valley, with rapture in his wide splendid eyes.”

I want to see that rapture in her eyes.

How does one accomplish that with telephone wires overhead and the sound of cars and sirens in the distance?

It will be a challenge.

But, I am determined.

Determined to create our very own Rainbow Valley.

We may not have acre upon acre of land.  We may not have vistas of the sea and the mountains and the valleys beyond.

We may have technology, and college neighbors, and distractions from nature.

However, I believe that Rainbow Valley is more a state of mind than a physical place.

I want my daughter to see beauty in nature, so I will show it to her.

I will let her hands delicately caress the flower petal. 

I will let her play with the weed, crawl across the grass, sink her toes into the dirt, stare at the birds up above.

I will take her outdoors as often as I can.

“See how blue the sky is?” I will say.

“Listen to those beautiful birds singing,” I will exclaim.

“What does that cloud look like to you?” I will question.

Imagination can grow anywhere.

I will foster it.  I will make our small yard a haven, a lovely place for whimsy and magic.

I will take her beyond the yard.  Up mountains, beside creeks, to the ocean’s edge.

She will find rapture.  She will delight.  She will rock in the hammock and stare at the leaves and simply imagine.

Like her mother did, all those years ago, in her own Rainbow Valley.

She will read and there she can escape to new and wondrous Rainbow Valley’s.

I want this for my daughter.

We may never live on a larger plot of land than we have now.  Telephone wires may always stretch across the skyline.  Cars may constantly screech by.

But, we won’t know.  We will be lost.  Lost in our Rainbow Valley.


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