Tuesday, July 22, 2008

At the Kilns

As a child, my father read me The Chronicles of Narnia. I watched the movies with my younger siblings and even read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for school one year. I am rereading the entire series, and today I had the great privilege of visiting C.S. Lewis’s house and walking the wilderness path around the lake where he used to swim and punt. In the woods, I felt that if I reached the top of the hill, I would look down the other side and see Archenland. This is what he saw when he wrote about Shasta wandering on his horse into Narnia. I could see him dismount and wander around, and see the animals and gathered Narnian troops go to aid the king of Archenland against the invading Calormens. It was the same wood Caspian fled through from his Uncle Miraz, and the wood that awoke from winter and saw Edmund bound to a tree by the White Witch. This was the forest the Pevensie children did not recognize through their different travels; with so much variety, it could not look the same after they had been in Narnia, the trees would have grown wild around the lamppost for sure. So removed was it from the streets of Oxford, but so near to the garden of the Kilns. Here was the marriage of the worlds, out the front door and into Narnia. He could see it from his bedroom.

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