Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Lesson on Adventure from Reepicheep

This may be a little off-track since I deal more about history and travel here in Back Trails. But I think that the core of the lesson can be easily related to travel.

I just acquired recently my second book of the Chronicles of Narnia, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. And as the writing of C.S. Lewis was smooth flowing and easy to read, I chose to carry the book with me as I made some travels between two provinces. (As a side note, I think that the book version of the Dawn Treader is more exciting than the film adaptation. Obviously they crafted the script to capture a wider audience.)

Anyway, Reepicheep seemed to have a number of lines in the Dawn Treader. And in many instances he has shared some thoughts that pierced through the passivity in my travel endeavors. When some of his companions in the Dawn Treader hesitated to go through some place, he would speak to show them what they would most likely miss out if they turn their back on what lies ahead.

When Dawn Treader’s captain Drinian and Edmund Pevensie expressed their apprehension in going through the Dark Island, Reepicheep replied:

“If I were addressing peasants or slaves...I might suppose that this suggestion proceeded from cowardice. But I hope it will never be told in Narnia that a company of noble and royal persons in the flower of their age turned tail because they were afraid of the dark.”

On another instance, Edmund and his cousin Eustace Scrubb went against the idea of staying in Aslan’s Table. When Eustace questioned about Reepicheep’s plan to stay, Reepicheep replied:

Because…this is a very great adventure, and no longer seems to me so great as that of knowing when I get back to Narnia that I left a mystery behind me through fear.

Those statements really struck me. When I travel to places, there are many things to behold – houses, churches, ruins, even people. But why do I have to be shy to ask questions to people, to explore the dark crevices of the old churches, or even to survey creepy and rickety houses? The adventures lay ahead in every travel and why would we shy away from all of them? I have just realized that there is already that fulfillment when you embark into an adventure. Whether you will discover something or not is another thing. The point is one chose to experience adventure without any reservations.

The words of the Valiant Mouse indeed inspired me to make the most out of each of my travels. Again, it does not matter whether one travel near or far. It is the thrill of the travels – the adventures! – plus the things discovered or learned that matter the most.

Photo Credit:
Lewis, C.S. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. New York: HarperTrophy, 1994.
Quote 1 from p. 179, Quote 2 from p. 197.

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