Thursday, October 13, 2016

gift that unwraps itself

In the BBC movie The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Edmund Pevensie sits on the witch’s sledge as she beguiles him with her magic. He is cold, so she bundles him in her wrap, takes out her magic vial and pours onto the snow, a drop of liquid that becomes a goblet, or chalice, holding a warm drink that warms Ed to his toes. Saying that it is dull to drink with nothing to eat, she asks him what he would like most in the world. “Turkish Delight!” he exclaims. The witch, styling herself Queen of Narnia, Empress of the Lone Islands and Chatelain of Cair Paravel, again raises her vial and pours another drop onto the snow. As Edmund watches amazed, a beautifully-wrapped gift materializes before his eyes, then immediately unties its own bow and unwraps itself. She nods to her dwarf slave, who gets down from his perch, picks up the box containing tempting cubes of sugar-powdered Turkish Delight, and hands Ed the witch’s charmed food that enchants him to the evil side.

There’s no metaphor for me there, no similarity except that as I stand or sit here on 7H porch, the evening that last night shaded into darkness now slowly returns to dawn, lightens as a gift unwrapping itself before my eyes, and creation emerges again just as it did for God alone on those first days of the P story. It’s just me here. Me, a sea creature splashing at my feet seven floors down, a “V” of pelicans gliding by toward another day of fishing and feasting at their spot. I watch the day unfold as Edmund watched the gift untie, unwrap and open. Thursday opened for me just so.

Later, in the sixth Chronicle, The Magician’s Nephew, C S Lewis delights us with retrospect as another boy and girl, Polly and Digory, he who later will turn out to have been the Professor back in TLTL&TW, find themselves in pitch black darkness and then dawning as Aslan sings Narnia into existence. And we realize how the London lamppost came to be at the edge of the Narnian woods. I remember the magical day in class that we read as Aslan sang, and then opened our Bibles to Genesis 1 and read "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved over the face of the waters. And God SAID let there be light, and it was so." A room of middleschoolers captivated, enchanted by Word.

Of all such memories of life, not even Harry Potter do I love more than Narnia and my Time those years in the HNES classroom with my children whom Father Time takes farther and farther away, while taking me farther up and farther in. 


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