Making my way through Oxford’s monumental streets, early on a crisp October day, as the sun is casting her good morning light on ancient walls and windows – stained glass, dark with age – my mind turns to C. S. Lewis.
Belfast, the city of Lewis’s birth as well as my own, is a world away. He left Ireland and spent much of his life here in Oxford, living a life of letters. He died and was buried here.
It is marvellous that Lewis wrote things down, leaving us traces of joy. For reading the writing of another person affords a window into their experience and mind, and in a very particular sense, bestows the wonder of community. Yesterday I read A Grief Observed. It was as if Lewis himself, generous and vulnerable, was holding the door of his inner sanctuary ajar, and inviting me in for a space, to ponder on his words.
Books, here in Oxford, are the thing. They have found residence and reverence, and people come from everywhere to read them. They are, in fact, the reason for this morning’s visit. And this delights me. So much so, dear reader, that I wanted to write it down, to let you know.