Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What Is Galleons Lap?

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 called Galleons Lap, which is sixty-something trees in a circle; and Christopher Robin knew that it was enchanted because nobody had ever been able to count whether it was sixty-three or sixty-four, not even when he tied a piece of string round each tree after he had counted it...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 in Galleons Lap.

The above is from the last chapter of the last book A. A. Milne ever wrote about his son, Christopher Robin Milne, and his animal friends, like Piglet, Kanga, Tigger and, of course, Winnie the Pooh. It's a story about growing up and leaving the toys and games of your childhood behind.

"I'm not going to do Nothing any more."
"Never again?"
"Well, not so much. They don't let you."
Pooh waited for him to go on, but he was silent again.
"Yes, Christopher Robin?" said Pooh helpfully.
"Pooh, when I'm--you know--when I'm not doing Nothing, will you come up here sometimes?"
"Just Me?"
"Yes, Pooh...Pooh, whatever happens, you will understand, won't you?"
"Understand what?"
"Oh, nothing." He laughed and jumped to his feet. "Come on!"
"Where?" said Pooh.
"Anywhere," said Christopher Robin.

Christopher Robin is coming to terms, in his own six-year-old way, with the fact that he can't go play in the forest with Pooh whenever he wants anymore. He must go to school and grow up and his whole life can not be all about make believe anymore. But he refuses to turn his back on make believe forever, and asks Pooh to come back to this enchanted place from time to time.

This is a moment every one of us must face at some point in our lives. Most of us, unfortunately, do not leave ourselves a lifeline to the world of our imagination, as Christopher Robin does. We close the door completely and accept that our lives will never be the same. Is it any wonder so many people in the world today are miserable?

I believe very strongly that all the problems facing our world today can be traced back to a grownup who has forgotten what it's like to be a kid. I also believe that everyone should take some time to be a kid every day. Put some Disney music on your iPod, go to a bookstore and reread the book you made your mom read to you every night before you went to bed, or just watch some cartoons that don't have swearing and sex jokes every now and then.

It is never too late to go back to that magical imaginary world of childhood. Whether you call it Neverland, Narnia, Wonderland or what, find your way back every now and then and see if it doesn't greatly improve your quality of life. That's what I believe, and it's what "Galleons Lap" stands for.

So they went off together. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.

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