“Christopher Robin was going away.” Possibly the most tear-jerking words in the whole canon of children’s literature. The opening line of “The House at Pooh Corner” – chapter ten “In Which Christopher Robin and Pooh Come to an Enchanted Place and We Leave Them There.”
It makes tough reading, even for grown-ups.
They walked on, thinking of This and That, and by-and-by they came to an enchanted place on the very top of the forest ….. Sitting there they could see the whole world spread out until it reached the sky, and whatever there was all the world over was with them.
“Pooh, when I’m – you know ….. will you come up here sometimes?” “Just me?” “Yes, Pooh.” “Will you be here too?” “Yes, Pooh, I will be really. I promise I will be, Pooh.” “That’s good,” said Pooh.
For many of us of a certain age, the age of people who took O-levels, wore hot-pants and watched “Follyfoot”, chapter ten was our first experience of separation and loss. Christopher Robin was going away. Somehow though, he had promised, he would always be there. Somehow though, if we go to the enchanted place, we will always find him there.
I found the enchanted place by accident, about six weeks ago. And like the best enchanted places, it’s close and very easy to get to. I went for a long walk on the day that would have been my mother’s birthday (blog 28 – Reflecting). Maybe my heart and mind were more open to the enchantment, but whatever it was, when I stepped round a corner and saw the perfection of the spot, the framing of the vista, the mountains and the valley, all viewed through the almond trees, I knew I had found my enchanted place. “The whole world spread out until it reached the sky.” For no reason and for every reason the tears flowed.
And at that moment a question I had been struggling with was answered. I don’t need to bring my mother’s ashes out to Spain. The lemon tree that I planted for her is there on the patio so I can give her a smile each morning. And when I want to, I can go up there sometimes to the enchanted place.
“Will you be here too?” “Yes, I will be really. I promise I will be.”
© Tamara Essex 2012