Tuesday, August 26, 2014

When We Were Very Young

We had a set of A.A. Milne books when I was....well, very young. There were...and are...four of them...and I always thought of them as a progression: When We Were Very Young, Now We Are Six, Winnie-the-Pooh, and The House at Pooh Corner. The first two books are children's poems, whimsical rhymers full of imagination about childlike observations we sadly ignore or forget as we age and are preoccupied with larger topics. The second two introduce the much loved characters from the Hundred Acre Wood, the companions of Christopher Robin as a young lad before he also leaves the enchanted land in which his stuffed animal friends reside. Our copies were cloth bound, Christmas gifts, no doubt, because all our books were Christmas gifts, well worn before we left the land of the Hundred Acre wood, but never forgotten and always beloved.

Believe it or not, the approach of another August anniversary brought A.A. Milne and Winnie-the-Pooh to mind. NOT because our ever accumulating sum of anniversaries might lead one to believe we were gaining on Pooh Bear's girth...or forgetfulness (Pooh is, admittedly, a bear of very little brain ), but because thinking of anniversaries made me remember when we married...which is "When We Were Very Young", you know.

And now we are not. Which leads me to sum up this year's anniversary in a way that might be accused as childish...but should be forgiven in one given to grandmotherhood!

"If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear."

― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

As any long married person knows, even the most attentive spouse, after years of conversation...or years of exposure to machinery...can appear distracted. His or her mate can always remember this bit of sound advice from the stuffed bear.

" When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen." A.A.Milne
After nearly four decades, (not quite there yet; that number will demand a party.) I fully expect any day to be an adventure with a small 'a'. But there is no doubt that Life happens when one tries to keep up with the Big Boots. Adventure can be exhilarating ; Adventure can be terrifying. Adventure by definition is never boring.

So wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
"What would I do?" I said to Pooh,
"If it wasn't for you," and Pooh said: "True,
It isn't much fun for One, but Two
Can stick together," says Pooh, says he.
"That's how it is," says Pooh.
Once we were very young, and now we are not. But as Pooh, very little brains or not, reminds us, what isn't fun for one is so much better as two.
Sticking together..
As years pass...
That's how it is....

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