Between Those Two Hills

The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe  from the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis is undoubtedly one of my favourite children's books. My mother, father and grandfather read it to me when I was little, and I've read it many times since. The wolf chief of police Maugrim from the BBC adaptation used to fuel my childhood nightmares. The new film, released in 2005 instantly became a favourite. So, you can imagine my joy when we arrived at the Fairmount hotel on the shores of Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. The mountains that surround the frozen lake look exactly like the mountains that the white witch points out to Edmund on his first visit to Narnia. She says to him, ‘see those hills, my house is between those two hills.’ And there the adventure begins. It's amazing the ability literature has to connect with all facets of life. Julian Barnes said in his novel ‘The Sense of an Ending’;  “This was another of our fears: that life wouldn't turn out to be like literature.” I can say that in Lake Louise this fear was non-existent. Almost every aspect of the frozen lake reminded me of the wintery Narnia from my childhood reading. The dripping from the trees as the snow melted reminded me of when Aslan returns to Narnia for the first time in generations, making the witches curse that it be ‘always winter; and never christmas’ come to an end. The snow melts and the witches dwarf proclaims ‘ this is no thaw, this is Spring!’.

Narnia is a place that I can never truly experience. Something that I richly imagined as a child, but never dreamed I would see. There's something to be said for the new-aged adage ‘you’ll see it when you believe it’. I felt a profound sense of joy as I looked out our hotel window onto the two hills and the snow covered trees, seeing a snowy world that I thought only existed in the wardrobe in the professors house. I looked out onto the lampposts lighting the lake in the darkness and almost expected to see Mr. Tumnus trotting through the snow, his arms laden with packages.