A Moment to Reflect


13 June 2020

A Moment to Reflect -41

Two, or three, final pieces of (seemingly contradictory) ursine advice for now, but I’m sure we’ll return to the wisdom of Winnie-the-Pooh at a later date.

“I always get to where I’m going by walking away from where I have been.” ― A. A. Milne

“Sometimes, when I’m going somewhere, I wait. And then somewhere comes to me.” ― A. A. Milne

I think what I like most about A. A. Milne’s storytelling (particularly through the character of Pooh) is his ability to state profound spiritual realities in simple but poetically rhythmic language. Nearly always, what Pooh says is blindingly obvious yet is exactly the kind of truth that we often fail to see, or forget, or ignore.

It is ‘blindingly obvious,’ for example, that if you want to get to somewhere else you have to leave where you are at the moment—and yet we all know that moving on, and leaving behind something with which we have grown so comfortable, is never easy. Walking away can be very hard. 

The current crises (epidemic and economic) have created times of great uncertainty. I guess most of us simply long to go back to everything as it was before: but that is almost certainly not going to happen. How do we move on?

And then we come to the apparent contradiction… although walking away is essential: so too are moments of waiting.

Only if you are absolutely sure of your destination (and your route) from the very beginning of your journey can you go on without stopping. Most of the time in the journey of life we have to stop periodically —to take our bearings, to pause and to look back on where we’ve been, and how far we’ve travelled. Occasionally then, in the very moment of resting, we realise that the ‘somewhere’ we were looking for has in fact come to us. [Especially if that ‘somewhere’ is joy or peace.]

If not, it is time to move on again, remembering yet another piece of Pooh’s travelling advice:

“I must go forward where I have never been instead of backwards where I have” ― A. A. Milne