Saturday, March 12, 2005

My Favorite Children's Books

I remember a world where good was ultimately stronger than evil, where courage, justice, love and mercy were woven into the fabric of sky and being; where animals talked as they ought to and the spirits of trees danced. I remember a world where I caught the wind easily in my simple, wild winds and soared on the wind whispers of deep, real magic. I remember a world made of words, words that painted inside my mind when I was very young, the reality of a forever dream. I came through the darkness and saw in the distance a light...

don’t know how old I was when I read C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books for the first time. I have no memory of this world without that one. I grew up with the Fords of Beruna being every bit as real as the canal up the street and just as accessible. There is much that is memorable in Professor Lewis’s magically simple mystical tales. The Professor was a master story teller, his language is natural, clear and glowing with some of the most charming imagery in all of children’s literature. This volume of mine deals with one aspect of Lewis’s books that is most memorable indeed . . . his descriptions of food. Professor Lewis was a wizard when it came to the narrative and portrayal of food. Even as a small child I knew it was virtually impossible to get very far in one of his books without having to go and get something to eat. During the Christmas holidays every year when we were growing up, my brother and I would fix vast platters of food; turkey and ham, pickles and home made bread dripping honey; and climb with them and all seven Narnia books into a self fashioned window seat on top of a high cabinet backed by a large stained glass window. There in our “Narnian Ship” we would sail, munching pickles, washed in shades of crimson, green and blue, until either the books or the food ran out; or until someone found us and made us go to bed. Even though the platters were huge, the food usually ran out first.

Please come into the halls of the Soul Food Café and see what I have done with my memories of Narnian Food!



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