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Hundred Acre Wood

There at the end of The World of Pooh, in "the Enchanted Place" chapter, there is a moment when the inevitable seems to be happening, when the boy is on the edge of saying he is about to leave his childhood behind.

Christopher Robin experienced the tenderness of a child's first love outside of parental love, the bond to a cherished bear. Can we reach back to ours? Who were they, what were their names, these lost loves. My mother and her only brother remembered her dolls' names when they were pulled out of the high cupboard in my grandmother's home seventy years since they had been cuddled. My little brother had a blanket that we all knew as his, "Me."

Pooh experienced the hundred acre wood and those that lived in it became his friends and adventurers. Just out the door of my home in only a few feet I can launch myself into the wilderness and do. The best times there are those without purpose, timeless pursuits of discovery. Each season bringing change and the beauty of the place.

Can places be loved dearly? Longed for? My prairie lands and the woodlands that follows the creek bed down in the gullies, filled with the native plants who have deep roots and the new species that do not belong edging themselves in, winding round and longing to belong themselves.

There on the prairie before it falls off the edge, I created an ecosystem of places I had loved by planting pines I could smell in the summer when the heat brought out the aroma of the Black Hills or the Rocky Mountains where I had lived in New Mexico and Colorado.

I had a dream this week that people, all sorts of people began to love Tar Creek and wanted to have birthday parties along the stream, they wanted to send rubber ducks down her, they longed to have Easter Egg hunts along the edge each spring. Graduation parties would take place and candle ceremonies like Tora Nagashi, the Festival of Recovery with floating lanterns which started in Japan after WWII when in 1946 so much of Japan remained in ruins. Perhaps our floating candles might be lit for the people who have lost their lives, from or during our current pandemic.

Tar Creek is getting some help in Kansas. EPA is working on her before she enters Oklahoma, for how can we do a real cleanup until the most upstream parts are addressed. As Piglet said to Pooh, “I used to believe in forever, but forever's too good to be true,” but cleanup has begun on Tar Creek because landowners began to believe the efforts could work.

The landowners along our section of Tar Creek have begun believing. She is damaged, yes, but even naughty boys can be loved, right? So let's start having creek dreams and start longing to enjoy the new improved creek she will become, the enchanted place she will be.

There are tough times for Miami coming and it is hard to believe but the councilors must trust the City's attorneys to speak for you and the trees you all live in the shadows of in the fight for the life of the city during this GRDA relicensing process. Catch up with the fight, encourage those who long to protect your homelands, your hundred acre wood, to keep you high and dry.

Respectfully Submitted ~ Rebecca Jim

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