Whenever I wake up to a particularly windy, rainy, and dark morning, especially this time of year when it's kind of on the tail end of winter, but not quite spring yet, Winnie the Pooh's very blustery day comes to mind. It is as instant as heading to the coffee pot after my descent of the stairs off the kitchen in the mornings. This was a favorite when my daughter was small, and though it is certainly associated with children's literature, I am again astonished of all the life-appropriate "nuggets" placed within the pages; ones that can turn an Eeyore point-of-view into a more sunny kind of outlook.
Well, spring is just around the corner and as the blustery days blow in, soon also will the warmer winds and summer sun with the promise of trips to the seashore, summer fruits, and family fun. Though it is only February, as we all work through our class assignments and prepare for exams, we know how quickly the time will surge by, and it will be time to say goodbye to some of our classmates that will graduate this spring. As I think about that, my mind is flooded with a bittersweet sentimentality.
As I head back up the stairs to my writing desk, I like to grab a book and glance through for some inspiration as I prepare my articles each week. The House at Pooh Corner was sitting in its usual place as I ascended to the top of the stairs and glanced at it in the guest room decorated for nieces and nephews that visit. Pooh has a very special place atop a favorite red cabinet that is enveloped with red ticking stripe curtains placed as they are to shield the little book from the sun that floods the room in the late afternoon. Memories come crashing in...oh, what glorious days those were. Walking through the woods, our nature reader in tote to aid in identification of the different plants and flowers.
Just like the friends at Pooh Corner are preparing to say goodbye to Christopher Robin, as he is growing up and getting ready for adventures that will lead other places besides his beloved Wood with his dear friends, the inhabitants of the Wood have a bittersweet feeling about the loss of time with their friend.
"After they had walked a little way Christopher Robin said:
'What do you like doing best in the world, Pooh?'
'Well,' said Pooh, 'what I like best----' and then he had to stop and think. Because eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. And he thought that being with Christopher Robin was a very good thing to do, and having Piglet near was a very friendly thing to have; and so, when he had thought it all out, he said,
'"What I like best in the whole world is Me and Piglet going to see You, and You saying, 'What about a little something..."
"I like that too," said Christopher Robin, "but what I like doing best is Nothing."
"How do you do Nothing?" asked Pooh, after he had wondered for a long time.
"Well, it's when people call out at you just as you're going off to do it, What are you going to do, Christopher Robin, and you say, Oh, nothing, and then you go and do it." (Dutton, p. 172)
Graduating and seeing all that we have worked for start to materialize to me is a bit like the anticipation of the honey. Once we are in our new careers, or first careers - whatever your situation is, it is more like actually eating the honey - so sweet and good and worth it! But, there is something special about that anticipatory time. It is something that is hard to describe but so real and so sweet too. And that doing "nothing" time we spent with friends - though it was not the action of nothing, but more the no planning of particular activities, just time together because being with and around that person was enough - so special, so timeless, that we will remember forever. Like those sunny days in the woods, hunting for flowers and plants - it was not the hunting but the time - together, that would be timeless and so special that was the thing.
Remember these blustery spring days and the special things you have done with friends. And when the time here comes to a close, take heart in the fact that you can visit them anytime, in your mind and heart, and there you will be again. It's only a "nothing" moment and a reminiscence away.
"Pooh, when I'm - you know - when I'm no doing Nothing, will you come up here sometimes?"
"Will you be here too?"
"Yes, Pooh, I will be, really. I promise I will be, Pooh....Promise you won't forget about me, ever. Not even when I'm a hundred."
Pooh nodded. "I promise," he said. (Dutton, p. 179)
Dutton, E.P. (1991). Copyright 1928. The House at Pooh Corner. Penguin Books. 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014. Print.