Emily is growing on me, chapter by chapter, book by book (I just finished the second one, Emily
Climbs. More soon!) Like her, my literary ambitions began early. Like her, I’ve had some things
published. Like her, every experience, every conversation, every tree blowing in the wind
becomes seed for my personal Jimmy-book.
In the first book, Emily of New Moon, I loved the chapter titled “Romantic But Not
Comfortable,” when Emily begins to realize that real romance is very different than how it looks
in stories and poems. Well, I had to write a poem about that.
In April I collaborated with an artist and friend named Nan Henke in a joint painting and poetry show called Crossroads. Nan did a painting of wildly exuberant flowers that looked like it was right out of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The art itself seemed twitterpated, as all things are in spring.
Spring starts in early March, and it is simultaneously the prettiest, most pleasant season in the Texas Hill Country — ask the 100,000 tourists who visited over spring break — and also the season of unpleasantness. It’s when the live oak trees shed their yucky pollen. It’s when we get thunderstorms and hail. It has often been a season for tragedy.
I met my husband on May 26, thirty-four years ago. We were in training to be camp counselors
that summer. He angled himself to be my partner when they taught us (read: reminded us) how to
two-step for camp dances. It was practically summer. We were uncomfortable, all hot and sweaty
on those tennis courts, under the bright mosquito-infested lights. We were soon to become
“Romantic But Not Comfortable”
chapter 21, Emily of New Moon, by L.M. Montgomery
Anyone foolish enough to have been twitterpated in spring knows love
is all elbows
One minute your thumper
foot won’t quit thumping, and the next
you’re scribbling verse that would wrest a wince from the Wind Woman.
These young bucks with marriage on their minds,
those flirtatious does, they all assume heartsease. No—
love is a spring storm.
The power goes out and the water runs where you don’t want it and you huddle together
with your newfound beau—his legs too long,
your mouth trembling too much to kiss.
– Megan Willome
Emily won’t be kissed until the second book, and the whole thing is even less romantic and more
uncomfortable than even I could have imagined. But it is wholly, gloriously True.
“This is one of the places where a conscientious biographer feels that, in the good
old phrase, her pen cannot do justice to the scene.”
Love is a storm. There is no accounting for it.