C.S. Lewis - on target again

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"No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty-except, of course, books of information. The only imaginative works we ought to grow out of are those which it would have been better to have not read at all...I am almost inclined to set it up as a canon that a children's story which is only enjoyed by children is a bad children's story." - Of Other Worlds by C. S. Lewis

Do you know that feeling when someone explains an idea that just touches the very essence of who you are, that leaves you feeling as though a timeless truth has just been revealed to you? That's how I feel whenever I read C.S. Lewis' remarks about sustaining a childlike imagination and sense of wonder.

I was blessed to have a healthy childhood, one that was safe, happy and carefree, filled with myths, fairy tales, daydreams, and a fascination with all the natural, transcendental, beautiful, and haunting things that my imagination could possibly entertain. I grew up with European cultural myths which tended to be just as dark and twisted as they were picturesque and enchanting. Important life lessons were always woven into the stories, warning the hearer to heed their wisdom or suffer the fate of their wayward fictional characters. And I was always enraptured by these myths, an experience I still savour although it's difficult to do so as frequently as I'd like with research, textbooks, schedules, budgets, meeting minutes, and other shadows of 'real life' crowding my mind.

"Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are marks of childhood and adolescence...When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - Of Other Worlds by C. S. Lewis

Naturally I'm a fan of C.S. Lewis' perspective. I read these quotes and feel embraced by them somehow. I don't mind too much this life as an adult, but there are so many aspects of my childhood I am loath to renounce. Sometimes I just want to be still, bask in simplicity, let my mind wander, and see where my imagination takes me. Is this really too much to ask?