As I sit here on the eve of what could be one of the biggest changes to life as we know it (I’m currently referring to the nuclear threat of North Korea), I think on the gentle days of yesteryear. The news today is so filled with fear, hatred and war that it has become extremely difficult for me to even read a headline at times. I look around me at the people I love, the rolling mountains, the coral and gold sunset and my heart aches for the darkness in the world. Though the world has always had evil in it, it has never been more prevalent than it is today. This is when I begin to yearn for the days I never knew.
As a young girl, I first read the book “Anne of Green Gables.” The character of Anne spoke to me in a way that few characters do. I WAS Anne…the curious, adventurous, romantic, slightly nerdy, but steadfast and loyal friend. (Though I did lack Anne’s spunk.) She was my heroine and how many times I wished I was living in her beautiful Green Gables set in the fields and woods against the backdrop of Prince Edward Island.
Of course she had her own set of challenges, but I compare them to what we see today and I shake my head in sadness. Her daily diversions (besides the farm duties) consisted of studying in her one-room school, gathering flowers in the woods with her friend Diana, thwarting off the teasing of Gilbert, or playing out the fantasies she read in books.
Our daily headlines consist of nuclear war, racism, disease, human trafficking, terrorists and more. Yes, they had life-threatening illnesses and wars in distant countries, but I can only imagine the horror that the people then would feel in response to our world today. It seems almost unbelievable to see what the world has descended into.
Yet (and I say this strongly) there is still reason to hope. Just like Anne’s courageous spirit led her to win over many trying circumstances, so we can also find courage to overcome the darkness in this world. We may say like Frodo did in The Lord of the Rings “I wish that none of this had happened” and we may wish and yearn for the evil and darkness to disappear. But we must rise up with the wise words that Gandalf said next: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
And therein lies the answer…what do we do when faced with the darkness? That must be left up for you to decide, but as for me, I will continue to spread love, light and laughter wherever I can. And I will seek for beauty and hope down to the last petal on the last flower in this world.