I just finished rereading Prince Caspian, for obvious reasons. I am such a fan of the whole Narnia series, but it has been years since I read them last. I guess when we were homeschooling. I read every day after lunch to ZMan. For years. Certainly long, long, long after he was able to read them himself. It is one of my fondest memories. We started, probably, with the Narnia series. We went on to the Taran series, which I recommend most heartily. That series has two of my favorite characters to read aloud: Princess Eilonwy and Gurgi. See? All these years later I still remember them!
After that we moved on to The Hobbit, and then to the whole LOTR trilogy. From there we read Tarzan, King Solomon's Mines, Robert Louis Stevenson, and oh so much more.
I would read until we got to a part of the book that made me weep to read aloud. Then Zman, who was just the Zkid then, would take the book and read the touching, sad, noble, brave part and hand it back to me. I think it was useful. He saw an adult being moved by the words on a page. And he learned that that was OK.
Anyway, back to the point. One of the reasons I like Narnia so much is that it helped fire my imagination about heaven and eternity. The perfect example came in the next to the last chapter in Prince Caspian today. Aslan is reawkening Narnia--going through the towns and fields. Freeing those in bondage. Asking people to follow him. Some do. Lots don't. While this might not be a literally accurate picture of the Second Coming, I dare you to think it's not a pretty darn close representation of the emotional aspects of that Coming:
They swept on across the level fields on the north bank, or left bank, of the river. At every farm animals came out to join them. Sad old donkeys who had never known joy grew suddenly young again; chained dogs broke their chains; horses kicked their carts to pieces and came trotting along with them--clop-clop--kicking up the mud and whinnying.
At a well in a yard they met a man who was beating a boy. The stick burst into flower in the man's hand. He tried to drop it, but it stuck to his hand. His arm became a branch, his body the trunk of a tree, his feet took root. The boy, who had been crying a moment before, burst out laughing and joined them.
At a little town half way to Beaversdam, where two rivers met, they came to another school, where a tired-looking girl was teaching arithmetic to a number of boys who looked very like pigs. She looked out of the window and saw the divine revellers singing up the street and a stab of joy went through her heart. Aslan stopped right under the window and looked up at her.
"Oh don't, don't," she said. "I'd love to. But I mustn't. I must stick to my work. And the children would be frightened if they saw you."
"Frightened?" said the most pig-like of the boys. "Who's she talking to out of the window? Let's tell the inspector she talks to people out of the window when she ought to be teaching us."
"Let's go and see who it is," said another boy, and they all came crowding to the window. But as soon as their mean little faces looked out, Bacchus gave a great cry of Euan, euoi-oi-oi-oi and the boys all began howling with fright and trampling one another down to get out of the door and jumping out of the windows. And it was said afterwards (whether truly or not) that those particular little boys were never seen again, but that there were a lot of very fine little pigs in that part of the country which had never been there before.
"Now, Dear Heart," said Aslan to the Mistress: and she jumped down and joined them.
And I could go on and on.
But this book is one that makes me long for that Coming. And I never did before Narnia.