Growing up, my favorite Narnia book was easily The Silver Chair. I loved when Prince Rilian came out of his enchantment, slew the giant serpent, and destroyed the silver chair. I loved dear old Puddleglum. I loved the trenches that spelled out words.
But mostly, I loved Jill Pole.
Jill wasn’t a Pevensie. There weren’t prophecies about her. She was just a girl struggling through school the best she could.
But when Eustace told her about this magical place he had visited, a beautiful place far beyond the reach of bullies and gray English skies, she believed. She believed so much that she had to go there.
And when she got there, she found that she was needed. She alone heard the signs from Aslan. She was given the quest to rescue Prince Rilian with Eustace. She kept their little trio going with her fire and determination.
And she made mistakes. Oooh, she made mistakes. But she worked doubly hard to fix them and still saved the day in the end. And as a girl who was constantly making stupid mistakes, that gave me a lot of hope for myself.
I used to think that if I hoped and believed hard enough, I could get to the Wood Between the Worlds and travel to all the lands I had ever read about or imagined, as well as the ones I had never in my wildest dreams encountered. And in a way, I did. I believed in stories the way August Rush believed in music. I believed, like Uncle Hub, that good will always triumph over evil, that true love never dies.
And I believed, like Jill Pole, that there was a magical land out there that needed me.
And now I’m building my own Wood Between the Worlds, an already-enormous collection of places and people and powers, some of which will never be read by eyes other than my own, some of which are out there already. And I’m no Shannon Hale, but even with my small-but-growing readership, I’ve had kids tell me how this or that or the other part really meant something to them. And it makes me want to cry a little every time.
Because it means that I’ve reached my magical land, and I have found that I’m needed.
And I think that’s what life is. It’s believing in something–stories, music, business, people, math, whatever–and believing in it so hard that it (whatever it is) really needs you, even if it doesn’t know it yet. Charles Wallace didn’t know how much he needed Meg. Mount Eskel didn’t know how much they needed Miri. And Narnia didn’t know how much it needed Jill Pole. But all of these ladies believed in their it, and nothing was ever the same again.
So whatever it is you believe in, be it writing stories or teaching high school math, know that you are needed. Go forth and change the world.
I needed this. Thank you.
Thank YOU for being such an awesome bloggy buddy. I’ve been terrible at commenting on other blogs lately, but it’s the wonderful consistent commenters like you that keep me blogging. You are needed!!
I’ve been bad at blogging lately as well, although my reasons are different. lol I always try to comment on blogs that hold meaning to me though, and this one definitely did since I’ve been down in the dumps lately trying to rediscover my it as you call it. This was definitely something I needed to read.
Wonderfully inspirational, Em! Thank you! Now I have to go back and read all the Narnia books 🙂
Thank YOU! It always makes me happy when you comment! And the Narnia books are always a good reread. You’d think I’d be tired of them by now, but nope!
Emily, you are always so inspiring! Many moons have passed since my last entry into blog-land, and you are as strong and fierce as ever. I can feel your energy come through your words. Your excitement for that Narnia novel makes me want to re-read the series again! Thanks for loving to read, and for reminding all of us about the power of a good book.
You are so nice, Melissa! Thank you for your kind words. I always get so excited when I see a new post from you in my feed. 🙂 You are missed during your absences from the world of blogging!