Wednesday, November 18, 2009
How I Met C. S. Lewis
I was learning to read. I had learned my alphabet. I had gotten past the part of the book where I recognized and named sequences of letters. hhh aaa ttt hat ath tha tah. Stuff like that. And now I was putting the sounds together. A-X. Ax! And! Ab! Learning to read was fun! I was excited. I had yet to reach the point where, when my parents would tell me it was time for a reading lesson, I would complain and desire to be somewhere else, out of my parents' grasp. Therefore, I also had yet to reach the point where I was curled up on the couch reading Laura Ingalls Wilder. And yet to reach the point where I'll be in my room, reading L.M.Montgomery. Or Dickens. Or Austen. (Reading is fun.) I had passed the first few lessons, and had begun to understand the concept of how to read the English language.
My wiser, older, understanding brother, two years my elder, saw and understood. It was time. He took me to the bookshelf at the end of the hall.
"It's time for you to read "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe!" he said, or something to that effect. Excitedly, too, and zealously, I'd imagine, though I can't remember exactly. He then handed me our paperback copy, with Pauline Baynes' illustrations, and left me alone. I sat down there at the end of the hall, and began. I liked the picture. I read and I read.
A half hour later, and I turned the first page. Then, I gave up.
"It's too hard! It's really boring! I don't know what these words mean! I will not read this, Mark!"
And I didn't pick it up again. Until much later. Much, much later. And then I enjoyed it immeasurably.
So that's my introduction to C.S.Lewis.