The Wardrobe at Wheaton

The Wardrobe at Wheaton

            I browsed the crowded dining room, tray in hand, looking for someone from the conference to sit with, when I saw the speaker from the previous night sitting by himself. Ordinarily I would never have been so bold as to sit with a speaker from a conference but he had been so humble and disparaging in his comments, it almost seemed like I was doing him a favor by joining him so I sat down.  As he prepared to leave he mentioned in a casual aside.

            “By the way, the wardrobe from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is on display at the Wade Center if you are interested.”

            “The what?”

            “The wardrobe.”  Surely he didn’t mean the actual wardrobe that had inspired C.S. Lewis to write his children’s classic.  Most likely it was a facsimile, I thought, but I had to check it out.

            Sure enough, there in a room just off lobby of the Wade Center stood the wardrobe for all to see.  No entrance fee, it didn’t stand behind glass but was front and center where not only it could be touched, the door could be opened revealing fur coats.  I wanted to climb in.

            This encounter was but a sidebar during an eventful week full of new information and new people at the Write to Publish Conference at Wheaton College outside of Chicago, yet as I look back and try to digest all that happened, it stands out as a significant sidebar.  My son and I had enjoyed reading through all of the Chronicles of Narnia once my daughters were in bed.   It had been our time, a chance for Dan to have mom all to himself without the competing demands of twin sisters   As a family we had watched the PBS versions, eagerly awaiting each new movie.  In my former office and now in my living room hangs a picture inspired by the last book in the series, The Last Battle, with Aslan standing at the door which opens to a new world and the words, Don’t Look Back, imprinted on top.

            As I explore further the world of writing and my possible place in it, the wardrobe invites me to enter new worlds, to try out new adventures, to move forward and not look back, to go deeper, whatever that may mean.

            What about you?  Are you being called to something new, a new adventure or perhaps to go deeper into what you are already doing?

Copyright June 2013 Robertson

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