She saw her aunt the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It looked interesting...and a little wicked.
But when her mom bought a paperback boxed set of the Chronicles of Narnia at a garage sale, the girl read them as fast as she could. It felt like her life was starting.
It wasn't just the fantasy genre, which would become a passion for her. It wasn't just the adventure and the idea that it could be as close as the wardrobe or train station. Nor the characters who were like brothers and sisters and friends. Yes, she loved all that.
"Narnia, Narnia, Narnia, awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters." He died on the Stone Table, he saved Eustace from his dragonish self, he loved Lucy. He destroyed the White Witch; "When Aslan bares his teeth, winter meets its death, and when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again."
But it was really the ending that the girl loved. Higher up and further in, Aslan told the children as they discovered his country. It was Narnia and England, all the best of everything, making everything before seem like just a shadow of goodness and happiness. If it was really like that, the girl thought, then maybe there was a reason for life. Maybe the ones that were lost weren't really lost. Having that goal changed how she lived the rest of her life. "...for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after."
Has your life ever been changed by a character? Has a book or series read as a child inspired you?