Just before we begin

Happy birthday, A. A. Milne. The winter I was nine years old, my mother gave me a set of the Winnie the Poohs and the two poetry books as an early Christmas present, just before we set off a on train trip to visit my aunt and cousins in Minnesota. I read them over the next few days in between exploring the free-range world of the train, from San Jose to Minneapolis, cradled in the stiff velvet splendor of the dome car seats.

A. A. Milne, your work (and that of your illustrator E. H. Shepard) expanded my universe and bent my mind in a fundamental way, and I was a better person after that. Thank you.

“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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