Every year about this time I start to re-read the entire Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I hope to do this for the rest of my life, because every year I find that the story changes a bit, and the land within the wardrobe gets a little deeper and more mysterious instead of more familiar. Each year Aslan calls the children to Narnia and I find myself learning more from these children’s books than all the WSJ articles I read in a year.

C.S. Lewis wrote a letter to his god-daughter, Lucy, in response to her comments on The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. And it encapsulates these books for me.

Dear Lucy,

You’ve got it exactly right. A strict allegory is like a puzzle with a solution: a great romance is like a flower whose smell reminds you of something you can’t quite place.*

For me the Chronicles of Narnia really are like that “flower whose smell reminds you of something you can’t quite place.” As I grow older I am more and more able to place the smell, or I have better idea from which direction the smell is coming, but it remains elusive. And a part of me thinks I would be horribly disappointed to wake up one day and realize I could place the smell of the flower, because it would mean the adventure is over. But the other part of me, the Lucy part of me, knows that once I find out where the scent comes from, the adventure will finally begin! Come further up and further in!

*C.S. Lewis Letters to Children (New York: Macmillian Publishing Company, 1985), 81.

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