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The heART of Ritual


The Light at the edge of the Woods

I chose the lamp post from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as today’s source of light primarily because it’s tied into many childhood memories of Christmas. En route to the nearest big town, there is a wood which has a lamp post on its edge. When we had snow in the winter, and drove past the wood, it was my Narnia. It’s the light that beckons you on, into adventure and the unknown; it’s full of promise and opportunity. It is that light which draws Lucy through the wardrobe door and into that wonderful, scary world. I bet I’m not the only child who constantly checked the backs of wardrobes to see if any new worlds lurked in there.

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 glimpse 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 a 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. (C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950)


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