Where am I going? I don’t quite know.

Down to the stream where the king-cups grow–

Up on the hill where the pine-trees blow–

Anywhere, anywhere. I don’t know.

Where am I going? The clouds sail by,

Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.

Where am I going? The shadows pass,

Little ones, baby ones, over the grass.

If you were a bird, and sailed up there,

You’d sail on water as blue as air,

And you’d see me here in the fields and say:

“Doesn’t the sky look green today?”

Where am I going? The high rooks call:

“It’s awful fun to be born at all.”

Where am I going? The ring-doves coo:

“We do have beautiful things to do.”

If you were a bird, and lived on high,

You’d lean on the wind when the wind came by,

You’d say to the wind when it took you away:

That’s where I wanted to go today!”

Where am I going? I don’t quite know.

Why does it matter where people go?

Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow–

Anywhere, anywhere. don’t know.

–“Spring Morning” by A.A. Milne, from the poetry collection When We Were Very Young. 

Milne’s poems have always sounded to me like the voice of childhood. I read them and think, “Yes–that’s how it felt.” I had forgotten, and then I read and remember.

I read this one to my children while they ate lunch on the deck yesterday, armed with baseball caps and water bottles, and thought these seemed the right words to pair with the pictures of our spring morning. Though I may feel that life is swirling, I hope they will remember days like these: pigtails with a backwards cap and a flowery purse, trips up a climbing rope, poking around together for bugs in the dirt, B’s first voluntary and successful trip on both his tricycle and his bike (at last…), and the endlessly fascinating way a roly-poly curls up at the prodding of a little finger.

That’s where I wanted to go today.

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