Aslan is on the move.
It is a memory that may not have existed in real life. Perhaps I dreamt of the scene once upon a time, and because I cannot remember much of my childhood I clung to it like it was my reality. That is where I would meet her if I could. I would walk quietly through the wood, as not to frighten her, and approach the mossy throne upon which she is pondering the natural world. She is believing with all her might in magic so that the Beast who sang this forest into being will walk into the open and speak to her. Only her. But instead of Him she will see only me. I hope she will not be disappointed. I hope that the duplicity of this moment will be magic enough for her. And that it will help her believe in many other unreasonable things in the future. I will not say a word. Soul to soul our eyes speak the volumes needed for such an encounter. Even though we are the same, I know it is impossible to have total knowledge of someone. Even if that someone is the person you used to be. Anyways, my memories blur and I cannot remember, truly remember, what it was like to be eight years old. To have met with death and illness in the same summer and still cast out those demons like all the rest sticking to my ceiling.
I think going back is always misinterpreted to be for the benefit of the younger “less experienced” you. No, it is for the you who has forgotten. For the me who no longer takes the time to find a patch of moss and ponder the growth of the tree I rest against. Now, all I notice is the bug buzzing in my ear and the lateness of the hour. Wonder has to work so much harder these days to hold my attention.
I will leave her as quietly as I came, maybe in the form of a fawn or a blue bird, and return to my own place and time. I will hold her innocence close to my chest–her hope pulsating quickly in youthful rhythm. I will remember that Wonder is an old friend who doesn’t hold grudges or ask why it has been so long since I called. And since we’ve touched base again in so absurd a fashion I imagine I’ll start seeing Him all over town like I used to. On the banks of the Mediterranean. Third row in a theatre on the West End. Awakening just as the moon sets behind the cliffs of Zion. In the November Pacific with salt on my tongue. Those moments that overwhelmed me with existence in general. How is this my life? How have I arrived here and now? Why me? “Because I have much planned for you, my child,” breathes a voice between the boughs. Even though He has yet to show His mane, I feel chosen none the less.
Without a doubt, I would pray that she did it all over again just the same. So that there would still be magic and a dream.