“The term is over: The holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”
So states Aslan at the end of the Narnia series, in The Last Battle. I have been listening to the series via audiobook for the past couple of months in my car, as I drive to work, church, run errands, etc. and I find it wonderful divine coincidence that I should finish the series on Easter Sunday. Many Lewis fans may allude to the scene at the Stone Table in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe today, given it is the strongest resurrection parable in the Chronicles of Narnia. But somehow the last passage of Last Battle evokes that Easter feeling of a New Beginning, of a Great Story just beginning to unfold. A story of life after life, a rolling back of stone to release empty space, a recalibration of reality, of everlasting Spring.
Now, I suppose the irony of going back to school tomorrow should taint this a bit, but it doesn’t. It did at times over the course of my Spring Break; a sort of looming dread of settling back to grade papers, discipline students, getting up before the sun, the weariness of a teacher just trying to make it to the end of the school year. I felt I was procrastinating on my lesson plans. There were times to buckle down which, through my laziness, I simply allowed to drift by. But now, in the late morning of Easter Sunday, as the glorious ringing of the bells during the Sunday liturgy at Ascension still echo in my ears, and a warm blue sky lights up my room, and the knowledge that this world was meant for goodness and love, no matter how we conspire to twist things to the contrary, I feel I am ready. Ready to lead my seniors to their own new beginning, to lead them to their transition from high school students to the world beyond my classroom.
And the wonderful thing is this feeling is only a mere part of the joy. Things are certainly put into perspective on this day. Responsibilities still remain, the mundane chores of maintaining house and home and preparing for work go on, but these things are under a light: by grace I am moved forward, rather than pulled down by the weight of despair or worry.
So the term is not quite over yet, but it is a new morning. Christ has risen. He has risen indeed.