Thursday, May 13, 2004
a selfsame soul to mine,
who might in darkness like to speak
of God as much as I.
I spoke earlier about asking God for "Time." In "Surprised by Joy," C.S. Lewis also speaks about "Space." He writes of his nightly walks and the details of the ground he covered, the amazing minutia of the natural world, the sky, the changing seasons, the animals and the people. We miss so much of this by traveling interstates and highways to get where we're going. My grandparents used to tell me about all-day trips to visit relatives who lived 10 or 12 miles away. Morning chores, two or three hours travel by buggy, a visit, and two or three hours more to get back by nightfall. Blessedly, I was raised in the country, outside the limits of any city, however small, and I'm well acquainted with the earth and sky. My children, however, no matter how long the nature walks I took/take them on, don't know "Space" as I do.
I've now grumbled about both Time and Space (which make up the entire natural universe) and how modern lives destroy them. Since nothing remains but Heaven and Hell, I'll quit my grumbling now in the knowledge that both Time and Space remain, available, to me and to anyone, for the asking.
I had not been allowed to deflower the very idea of distance; in return I possessed "infinite riches" in what would have been to motorists "a little room." The truest and most horrible claim made for modern transport is that it "annihilates space." It does. It annihilates one of the most glorious gifts we have been given. It is a vile inflation which lowers the value of distance, so that a modern boy travels a hundred miles with less sense of liberation and pilgrimage and adventure than his grandfather got from traveling ten.