Today was a collection of journeys, which is one of my favorite ways to engage a Sunday. After valuable down time this morning, I spent the afternoon with my mom and sister Linda. My sister is getting over bronchitis. Hoping a hot beverage would make her throat feel better, we decided to start our time together with tea, before working on our vision boards.
Linda has never drank hot tea before. Rather than simply offer her a cup of tea, I prepared a proper afternoon tea for the three of us. I am always thrilled to share this wonderful custom. Taking my teapot and various goodies to Mom’s, I brewed them both a pot of Scottish tea. We had chicken salad finger sandwiches, brownies, cookies and traditional shortbread cookies. Scones were the only things missing from our selection. We enjoyed sipping our hot tea and chatting. Linda included a dollop of organic honey with her tea, to sweeten it slightly and to soothe her throat. I don’t think she liked the inclusion of the honey, which seemed strongly flavored to her.
Our next journey involved working on our vision boards. I am taking my time with this activity this year, and finding that I like that. We browsed through magazines while talking about the words and pictures we were looking for. Since working on the boards last, I’ve had time to consider what other intentions, to be represented by words and symbols, are important to me. We decided that today was not about finishing the boards, so all energy could be devoted to searching and choosing what felt right to us. I realized I wanted to include the word “blog” on my board. I voiced that and asked Mom and Linda to watch for the word. Just moments later, Linda turned a page in a magazine and there it was in a headline…BLOG. I loved that. It was as if the word called to me, right before it appeared. So much of my life flows like this. These occurrences let me know I am on the right path.
Lastly, I was aware that today is Winnie the Pooh Day, celebrated because today is the birthday of creator A.A. Milne. I enjoyed reading about Milne, who was born on this date in 1882. Although he was a noted author, primarily of poems and screenplays, the stories he penned for his son, Christopher Robin Milne, made him famous. The characters were based on his son and the boy’s collection of stuffed animals. The real Christopher Robin had a teddy bear named Edward, who was renamed Winnie the Pooh after a Canadian black bear named Winnie, who was used as a military mascot in WW I and later donated to the London zoo, and Pooh after a swan.
A. A. Milne with his son Christopher Robin Milne and Pooh Bear – Howard Coster 1926
Illustrator E.H. Shepherd used his own son’s bear, Growler, as the model for Pooh. Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo and Tigger were all toys belonging to Christopher Robin Milne. His father created two other characters, Rabbit and Owl, from his imagination. The original toys are on display in the Stephen A. Schwartzman building, the former New York Public Library, in New York City.
I loved the stories of Winnie the Pooh, long before Disney popularized them in animation. I read the stories of the bear with “fluff in his ears” and love and wisdom in his heart to my children. The adventures of Christopher Robin and his menagerie of companions have inspired me. There is a hominess in Pooh, a combination of sage advice and imaginative musings.
What a perfect way to wind down my journeys today, reading through Winnie the Pooh quotes. I’ve shared a couple of my favorites below, with illustrations. This one is perhaps my favorite, as it reminds of the flow of life, which I so desire to immerse myself in: “Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.” – A.A. Milne. It truly is that simple…and that profound. Happy birthday A.A. Milne….and thank you.