Further Chronicles of Avonlea HTML version

V. The Dream-Child
A man's heart--aye, and a woman's, too--should be light in the spring. The spirit of
resurrection is abroad, calling the life of the world out of its wintry grave, knocking with
radiant fingers at the gates of its tomb. It stirs in human hearts, and makes them glad
with the old primal gladness they felt in childhood. It quickens human souls, and brings
them, if so they will, so close to God that they may clasp hands with Him. It is a time of
wonder and renewed life, and a great outward and inward rapture, as of a young angel
softly clapping his hands for creation's joy. At least, so it should be; and so it always had
been with me until the spring when the dream-child first came into our lives.
That year I hated the spring--I, who had always loved it so. As boy I had loved it, and as
man. All the happiness that had ever been mine, and it was much, had come to
blossom in the springtime. It was in the spring that Josephine and I had first loved each
other, or, at least, had first come into the full knowledge that we loved. I think that we
must have loved each other all our lives, and that each succeeding spring was a word in
the revelation of that love, not to be understood until, in the fullness of time, the whole
sentence was written out in that most beautiful of all beautiful springs.
How beautiful it was! And how beautiful she was! I suppose every lover thinks that of his
lass; otherwise he is a poor sort of lover. But it was not only my eyes of love that made
my dear lovely. She was slim and lithe as a young, white-stemmed birch tree; her hair
was like a soft, dusky cloud; and her eyes were as blue as Avonlea harbor on a fair
twilight, when all the sky is abloom over it. She had dark lashes, and a little red mouth
that quivered when she was very sad or very happy, or when she loved very much--
quivered like a crimson rose too rudely shaken by the wind. At such times what was a
man to do save kiss it?
The next spring we were married, and I brought her home to my gray old homestead on
the gray old harbor shore. A lonely place for a young bride, said Avonlea people. Nay, it
was not so. She was happy here, even in my absences. She loved the great, restless
harbor and the vast, misty sea beyond; she loved the tides, keeping their world-old tryst
with the shore, and the gulls, and the croon of the waves, and the call of the winds in
the fir woods at noon and even; she loved the moonrises and the sunsets, and the
clear, calm nights when the stars seemed to have fallen into the water and to be a little
dizzy from such a fall. She loved these things, even as I did. No, she was never lonely
here then.
The third spring came, and our boy was born. We thought we had been happy before;
now we knew that we had only dreamed a pleasant dream of happiness, and had
awakened to this exquisite reality. We thought we had loved each other before; now, as
I looked into my wife's pale face, blanched with its baptism of pain, and met the uplifted
gaze of her blue eyes, aglow with the holy passion of motherhood, I knew we had only
imagined what love might be. The imagination had been sweet, as the thought of the