Looking for Narnia

lucynarnia.jpg“This must be a simply enormous wardrobe! thought Lucy, going still further in and pushing the soft folds of the coats aside to make room for her. Then she noticed that there was something crunching under her feet. “I wonder is that more moth-balls?” she thought, stooping down to feel it with her hand. But instead of feeling the hard, smooth wood of the floor of the wardrobe, she felt something soft and powdery and extremely cold. “This is very queer,” she said, and went on a step or two further.

Next moment she found that what was rubbing against her face and hands was no longer soft fur but something hard and rough and even prickly. “Why, it is just like branches of trees!” exclaimed Lucy. And then she saw that there was a light ahead of her; not a few inches away where the back of the wardrobe ought to have been, but a long way off. Something cold and soft was falling on her. A moment later she found that she was standing in the middle of a wood at night-time with snow under her feet and snowflakes falling through the air.

Lucy felt a little frightened, but she felt very inquisitive and excited as well. She looked back over her shoulder and there, between the dark tree-trunks, she could still see the open doorway of the wardrobe and even catch a glipse of the empty room from which she had set out. (She had, of course, left the door open, for she knew that it is a very silly thing to shut oneself into a wardrobe.) It seemed to be still daylight there. “I can always get back if anything goes wrong,” thought Lucy. She began to walk forward, crunch-crunch over the snow and through the wood toward the other light. In about ten minutes she reached it and found it was a lamp-post. As she stood looking at it, wondering why there was a lamp-post in the middle of the wood and wondering what to do next, she heard a pitter patter of feet coming toward her. And soon after that a very strange person stepped out from among the trees into the light of the lamp-post.”

The Lion, The Witch, & the Wardrobe. Chap. 1, “Lucy Looks into a Wardrobe”

Getting over something, processing something, working something out in my head, is a little like being lost in the wilderness. Not that I’ve ever been lost in the wilderness, but being lost, waiting for something to happen, waiting for something inside your head to change, waiting for something in your heart to heal, sometimes it feels like that’s all there is. When you don’t know which way to go to get out of the forest, all around you is infinite forest.

Sometimes, I manage to find a spot in my head where things feel okay. Where I’m not fighting against everything that Is, trying to make it into something it isn’t. Where I can let go of grief and expectation. Buddhists might call it Enlightenment, these little flashes of acceptance. Maybe it’s like finding your way back onto the map. Maybe it’s like finding Narnia. Most of the time, you open the wardrobe, and all you see is the back of the wardrobe. You try to tell people about it, but they can only see the back of the wardrobe too. And then one day, without even trying, without expecting it, you open the wardrobe, and there’s trees, and fauns, and Lions that aren’t quite Tame.

Most people think of being lost in the woods as a bad thing, a life-threatening thing. And it is, of course it is. But it’s not always losing an arm under a rock or getting chased by starving wolves or failing to start a fire. Sometimes, you find Narnia.

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