“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Even though Albert Einstein and Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau sure had some things worth saying, most of the Things To Know can be found hidden in children’s stories. (Finding Nemo! Elf! Harry Potter!)
Today, we are taking our life lessons from Winnie the Pooh, because everyone knows Pooh wisdom is a thing.
Once upon a time I was sitting in my little corner of the Forest. Once upon a time, Caitlin was sitting in hers. And though our bits of Forest were cozy and warm and just as we liked them, there was this big beautiful thing we found when we took a chance and left them. Insert life lesson one.
She came to Australia, then I packed my family up to see her in New Zealand when Ella was a baby, and then she came back to Australia, and again now with her boyfriend Matt. We are at the tail end of their stay here and just an hour ago, my mother-in-law walked past me editing some photos of our time together and said, “Oh dear,” which was just a short way of saying, “Everybody prepare to cue tears.”
However – insert life lesson two – since I’m trying really hard to make gratitude my thing, I am choosing to channel another Pooh-ism into this otherwise awful time: How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
It’s corny, sure, but it’s otherwise known as truth, and it’s the only thing that’s making me feel better so, whatever.
We’ve watched trashy movies and been to art galleries. We’ve bought new shoes (she’s now successfully converted to the Saltwater Shoe-vement thank you very much) and drank wine by the fire. We’ve cooked and walked and been stranded on Bribie Island with some tide issues which we are not going to talk about. My favourite things, though, have been the in-between. The everyday rhythms we’ve fallen into. The mornings, the coffee. The bedtimes, the movies. The little things, like everything always comes down to, in the end. The everyday things I will miss the most when we are once again separated by a huge body of ocean.
Friendship is a beautiful thing. More true than romantic love perhaps, because it’s without a sense of possession. We take many friends, but only one partner, and so the love rooted in friendship then, becomes less about ownership and simply, only, about sharing.
Feeling grateful for Forests, but more grateful for leaving them.
And now we make plans to build two big old rambling Queenslanders next to each other so Caitlin and Matt can live half the year in New Zealand, but then the other half beside us.
Here’s to sisterhood