Winnie-the-Pooh was wise. A.A. Milne’s Bear of Very Little Brain asked:
“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favourite day,” said Pooh.
If today is my favourite day, I know it is going to be a good one. And if every day is my favourite day, I have a very good life ahead of me.
Pooh also understands that sometimes anticipation is the most delicious part of longing for something. The reality of having it often falls short of the dream. I know he understands this because A.A. Milne wrote:
“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although 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.”
Pooh’s teachings emerge from a kindly soul rather than a series of abstractions. I thought of him when the visit with our granddaughter and her two mothers ended. Having them here was like a whole string of best days. When they left I thought of Pooh’s observation:
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
A lot of books, films, workshops and gurus promise to guide us on a path to mindfulness and gratitude. I like Winnie-the-Pooh best of all. He doesn’t promise, but he does deliver. Could there be a better approach to mindfulness than this exchange between Pooh and Piglet?
“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”
Thank you, A.A. Milne. Your books about Pooh and his pals ring as true today as they did when you published the first one in 1926. Reading them always gives me hope.