The Lion The Witch and The Cupboard
Sometime around 1990 I was working a midnight shift at a juvenile detention center. It was perhaps 3:00 a.m. and the kids were all fast asleep. I was making my mandatory room checks every ten minutes or so and was bored out of my mind. I opened a cupboard beneath the desk and grabbed a book to read. The book was The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. I opened the book and skeptically began reading the paperback for something to do. Suddenly without warning chapter 1 slammed behind me and I found myself hopelessly trapped, snared within the story. The book was truly one that I could not put down except to do my mandatory checks and complete my paperwork. After completing the book I tore through the remainder of the books in the series voraciously. Within that cupboard I stumbled on a virtual treasure as I camped within the imaginary land created by Lewis and lived vicariously through his narration of the goings on within this wonderful land.
Lewis did not chronicle my journeys in Narnia but he did the journey’s of others. Ironically if it were not for Lewis I doubt that I would have ever found Narnia. I really don’t think he even realized I was there at all.
I was completely enthralled with the stories as I witnessed the creation of Narnia. I fought beside Peter and Edmond in the battle against the White Witch. I was able to attend the coronation of Peter the high king and his companions and I explored lands to the East aboard the Dawn Treader and witnessed the evolution of Narnia and finally took refuge behind the stable door the night the stars fell from the sky.
Narnia is a beloved land created within the limitless confines of C.S. Lewis’ imagination. It is complete with talking animals and mystical beings…a land of enchantment and adventure free from the confines of fences and posted properties. The forest is alive with both talking and non-talking beasts, driads, centaurs, dragons, squirrels, stags, unicorns.
For chivalrous adventure I recommend the Lantern Waste Trailhead. You can reach it by traveling north from Cair Paravel. Don’t miss the placard that describes how this unique landmark came to be. Its history actually dates back to the very earliest known times in Narnia. The land is desolate there with ample wildlife viewing opportunities. If you are lucky you may spot a Faun or an ape or maybe an ass or a beaver or if you are very lucky you might spot both of the latter at the same time. There are several variations of trails to take from Lantern Waste some are linear and there are other options to take to tie into other trails to make convenient loop hikes of varying distance and difficulty.
If you are into the desert thing there are some magnificent deserts and canyons just southwest of Cair Paravel. I recommend traveling Aslan Air and depending upon the era that you travel finding ample room and board should not be an issue in Cair Paravel. There are some establishments that I recommend staying away from further north and east of the city though. You should recognize them when you see them. I would especially avoid them come festival time.
If you are into adventure, fantasy adventure, great stories….if you were a fan of The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings Trilogy and J.R. Tolkien and have not yet discovered C.S. Lewis’ works then I am willing to share in the literary treasure that I stumbled upon. years ago. Do yourself a favor and look up this treasure trove of books…You will be glad you did. I snagged a copy from Walmart recently that was a combined book encompassing all of the books in order. I recommend this version. If you get to Narnia look me up. I look forward to seeing you there. The Chronicles of Narnia I paperback was $14.84 at Walmart…makes a great Xmas gift for kids or adults.
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