Monday, August 12, 2013

Delicious Golden Apples

I'm re-reading Prince Caspian. It's the second book in The Chronicles of Narnia if you're reading the books in the order they were published.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
Prince Caspian (1951)
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)
The Silver Chair  (1953)
The Horse and His Boy (1954)
The Magicians Nephew (1955)
The Last Battle (1956)

However, some people prefer to read them chronologically—Narnian time.

The Magicians Nephew
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Horse and His Boy
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Last Battle

I just can't, although I give it some consideration. I feel compelled to re-discover Narnia in the exact same way I discovered it many years ago.

I finish The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe a few weeks ago and am surprised by how much I enjoy it. I'm a couple of chapters into Prince Caspian and my heart is glowing. Must be those golden apples.
It's so cool the way that Lewis brings the Pevensies back to Cair Paravel hundreds of years after their first departure. And although they don't immediatley realize they're back in Narnia, their re-discovery of it is magical. There is something so tangible about Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy munching on those delicious golden apples in an orchard they helped plant so long ago, in another time. I am right there with them. Crunch. Crunch.

And then I wonder about the Cathedral Palace orchard in the Realm of Faerie and Melia munching on her golden apple in Half Faerie … the influence wasn't conscious… and yet re-reading the scene in Prince Caspian,  I love the image of the wild and overgrown apple trees so much… certainly it must have been an offering from some deep trove of subterranean memory.

The other thing that's so fantastic about their return is the time play. The children find themselves in a place where they once matured into adulthood—became kings and queens—at a point in time that is well beyond their reign, and yet, they are once again children.

I mean how fantastic would it be to recapture your youth and retain the wisdom of age? To find the world you once lived in reclaimed by Nature? To live again, another life within a single one?

That is the magic of great fantasy, to send your mind soaring and fire your imagination like rocket fuel.