By Ela

January 30th, 1900

My dearest Anne,

 

I read somewhere once that January is the gloomiest month specifically because we’re forced to detoxify ourselves so suddenly from the festivities of the holidays. To borrow a phrase of yours, it seems as though whoever wrote that sentiment must be a kindred spirit. 

 

Perhaps when we have a home of our very own one day, we can find ways in which to let the cozy glow of the holidays linger well past their intended expiration date. Perhaps we’ll leave the Christmas candles up through January, or drag our feet a bit when it comes to taking down the garlands. Bash would surely laugh at our silly antics, and Marilla likely won't approve (I’m sure you can hear her muttering “fiddlesticks!” under her breath just as well as I!) Nevertheless, others’ opinions won’t matter. Someday soon, we’ll play by our own rules in the home we build together. There's no one in the world I would rather break old rules or write new ones with than you, Anne-girl. 

 

I must confess that I’m not too familiar with the poetry of Susanna Moodie, though it seems to be kismet that her poetry has found you given that she, like your parents, sailed a similar journey. Though I’ll never know them, I’m so incredibly grateful for your parents—not just for bringing you into this world, but for sailing across the sea and over to Canada to begin with. But even if they had not made the journey, I like to think that our paths still would have crossed. Just as you write that you would never want your name to be tethered to anyone else’s but my own, I believe that my soul could never be tethered to anyone else’s but yours. I also believe that had you and your parents ended up elsewhere, somewhere along the way, the invisible string tethering our two souls together would have led me to you eventually. That being said, I am glad that fate didn’t see fit to make us wait long. We are so very fortunate to have found each other so early in life, and to have so much of life still stretched out before us to live together. 

 

The semester has barely begun and already it feels as though the course work is beginning to pick up steam. I can’t imagine what it must be like to study a subject you aren’t passionate about. I’m so very glad to hear that you, too, are finding your coursework to feel less like “studying” and more like something that you relish and enjoy. 

 

In Human Anatomy, we have just begun learning about the cardiovascular system, which includes the study of the heart and all of its chambers and ventricles. As fascinating as it is, every day I am reminded of how much there is still yet to discover in the world of science. For as much as I’m learning, there’s still so much science can’t teach or explain. It cannot, for example, explain why it is that my heart feels as though it skips a beat whenever I think about the feel of your lips pressed against my own. It also can’t explain the ache I feel in my chest whenever I find myself missing you terribly (which is often.)

 

Studies aside, Ben and I have been trying to make the most of the cold weather. There’s a lake near campus that’s still frozen over, and we were able to round up a few others to play a pick-up game of hockey over the weekend. It served as a much-needed break from the tedious hours spent pouring over medical texts, though not so much as far as distracting me from thoughts of you. 

 

Do you remember the last time our paths crossed on a frozen body of water? I wouldn’t hold it against you if you didn’t, though I must confess that I recall it vividly. Specifically, I remember the way I couldn’t keep my wits about me in the midst of a tight game because all I could think of was how lovely your red hair looked set against the white of the snow and the blue of your winter coat. And how I found myself so distracted over just the idea of how, at any moment, you could very well have turned your watchful gaze upon me. I used to believe that nothing could be better than the thrill of our eyes meeting on accident whenever I permitted myself to sneak glances in your direction. Now I know that the memory of that feeling pales in comparison to how it feels when I look into your eyes and see the love I have for you mirrored back at me through the warmth of your own gaze.

 

It’s that very warmth that I’ll be thinking of tonight when I close my eyes to sleep. If we cannot see each other in person, my dreams will have to do for now.


 

All my love,

Gilbert

PS: Ben does, in fact, enjoy a good ginger snap though I suspect he’d be tickled with any sort of baked good you might wish to send him!

© 2020 by ANNE NATION