The basic thesis is that memories of the past are not fixed. They transform themselves and change their shapes and appearances every time you return to them.
When I was into the low teens, I suddenly became seized by Lucy Maud Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables" series. I first read all the Japanese translations, and went on to read the originals. It was actually the Anne series, together with J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, that kick-started my serious build-up of English as a foreign language.
I carried my enthusiasm somehow into the low twenties. I have been to Prince Edward Island twice.
Recently, I was reflecting on how I enjoyed this particular piece of juvenile literature, when I suddenly realized a hidden agenda.
One of the things that attracted me at that time was the beauty of the nature depicted in the writings. The famous landscapes in the novel such as "the lake of shining waters", "the haunted woods", etc. captured the imagination of the young me. I have been aware of this line of influence, but I had not realized that this sentiment had a lot to do with the destruction of environment that went with the rapid economical growth of Japan at the time of my childhood.
When I was a kid, the forests that I loved would be suddenly destroyed. As I visited my favorite woods after some period, it was not unusual to see the trees having been cut down, with bulldozers doing an immeasurable damage, revealing the bare soil, the men working seemingly without any pains in their conscience. As I look back, I realize that these incidents were deeply hurting to the naive person that was me.
Reflections make it seem likely that the Anne series in a sense provided the much needed psychological compensations for the natural beauties that rapidly disappeared from my childhood environment. Avonlea (the imaginary village in which Anne Shirley lives) represented in my mind an ideal place to inhabit where the enchantments of your childhood are preserved for ever, in a time capsule the existence of which is not to be hoped for in the real world.