Chapter 10 - The Knowledge of April: The Dreams
April hugged her knees to her chest. It was a lovely day, a beautiful place, and the food had been refreshing. Peter lay stretched full length on the blanket enjoying the sun. She looked at him, he was sound asleep. It had been an emotional morning to say the least. His hair was almost in his eyes and she very gently bushed it back from his forehead. He smiled slightly in his sleep. He was so attentive to her, even in his sleep. She looked at him again. He was so handsome it made her catch her breath. His features relaxed in peaceful sleep, he looked younger than he actually was. But, she always thought of him as a man. Seeing him trace his adult illustration in the book yesterday had made her think. How fun it was that she already knew what he would look like in ten years. Was it only yesterday they had looked at the book? It seemed like it had been a week ago.
She gathered up the remainder of the food items and put them back into the basket. Her fingers touched the journal. She lifted it out caressing the front cover. Old and worn, it was not pretty but it was precious. She couldn't believe she had never seen this before. She opened the cover and an envelope fell into her lap. It was sealed and had her name on it written in her grandmother's handwriting. A letter for her? What a treasure! With a glance at Peter she decided to open it. She could always share it with him later. She pulled out the pages with excitement and began to read...
My dearest April,
It has been a joy and a pleasure watching you grow over the years. Your beauty is not just outward but reaches inward as well. For that is where true beauty is found. You have been my willing confident and friend regarding Narnia and the strange legends that exist from there. It is my dream that you will embrace and cultivate the spirit that is inside of you as you continue to grow in grace and beauty.
Never be embarrassed by your heritage, for it is special and precious and unique. You will no doubt have questions about where these stories come from and how they relate to our family specifically. I am leaving my journal with your mother for safekeeping to help answer your questions.
I must share with you my hopes about the man you choose to marry. Because, dear one, love is a choice, as your mother has demonstrated. But it is also precious and sweet and I wish that the greatest of loves will find you and bless your life. We have talked some about how important marriage is in broad terms, it is the building block of our culture and society. It is sacred and in this war-strewn world I am afraid it will lose its significance over time. Although we cannot affect the larger world, we can make a difference in our own choices. So choose wisely, my dear, for it is one of the most important decisions of your life, and you will want it to last a lifetime.
Here is what I dream your future mate will be...someone who is strong of character and will, who will choose to stand up for you and for what it right, someone who is not afraid to fight to win your heart and one who will not back down from challenges like the one your father will present. You will need someone who shares your values and chooses to respect your needs over his own. What would be ideal, and I have no idea how you will find him, is that he will also have a Narnian connection. You will know when you take him to the grove, because he will experience it as you do. I have the feeling that such a person is rare, but it might be a good idea to take him there before your heart binds to his. But take heart, if he doesn't see things as you do, still share the legends and book with him. However, go slowly and carefully. If you find he ridicules you or is staunchly unbelieving, do not commit yourself to him. You do not want to live in a marriage where you cannot share your innermost heart with a man. You will have noticed how your father is towards your mother about the legends, it is a difficult place to be.
Be sure you wait for physical intimacy, as we have talked about many times, it can create difficulty that is hard to overcome if you step over even the smallest boundaries too soon.
Find something that you love to do that is apart from your husband. Your mother has her gardening and you will have your dancing, no doubt. Even if you cannot dance on the stage, it will still be a refuge, solace and outlet for your creativity.
One last thing, your husband, no matter how much you love him, will never be able to truly fill all of your heart. If you try to have your husband fill that empty place you will be left frustrated and bereft and he will feel inadequate and unable to fix you (which most men love to try to do). There is a place in a woman's heart that can only be filled by the one True God and His Son. It is He who created you and He who placed the spirit within you that I have talked about. April, I implore you to search for Him with all of your heart until you know Him and let Him guide your life. I regret that I have not known this for most of my life. I only recently discovered this and I would wish to save you that grief. Once you know Him you will find the only source of peace and wisdom and comfort that will sustain you no matter what the circumstances of life you may find yourself in. Even if you never marry, you will be able to take comfort in your Creator.
Go now, my precious Granddaughter, with all of the love that I have to give you. Be smart, be kind and loving, be gentle and gracious, generous and forgiving, live your life to the fullest in fun and hope and joy! And, don't forget to pursue your dream!
With a love that is everlasting,
April sighed, she missed her grandmother so much. She glanced at Peter. His expression had changed to a frown and he was twitching a bit. She wondered what he was dreaming about. With a cry he sat straight up and looked wildly about.
She put her hand on his shoulder, "Peter, are you awake? Were you dreaming?"
He grabbed her hand and then rested his forehead on her shoulder sighing with relief. She put her hand on his back in a gesture of comfort and he seemed to relish it. Strange, she had never thought about him needing to be comforted.
He began to speak, "I was waking up after a wonderful sleep. I could see the sunlight coming through the windows of the castle at Cair Paravel. I could hear the ocean waves surging in the background. You were there, next to me. I reached over and pulled you close. I kissed you good morning, because that was how you loved to wake up. I said, 'good morning, my lovely queen'. Someone knocked at the door requesting my presence. I told them to wait a few minutes. When I looked back down at you, you were smiling at me and then you started to fade away into nothing. I tried to grab at you to keep you there but you were gone, disappeared. Then I woke up."
"What's odd," he continued, "is that this was a dream of a dream that I used to have in Narnia. I had completely forgotten it. But, I used to have it regularly. I never knew whose face it was in the dream. That day in the dining hall when you first came up to me, when I saw you, I was speechless, remember?" At her nod he said, "I knew you looked familiar but I couldn't place from where. I know now it was from my dream! How on earth could I dream about you in Narnia when I had never met you?"
She smiled and lifted his head to look in his eyes, and saw his confusion. "Peter, that is the most amazing thing I have ever heard of. I love the thought of being your Queen."
She kissed him softly, then continued, "I don't know, maybe Aslan was preparing your heart to meet me. Maybe he knew then that you would need help putting the pieces back together, and he chose me. Oh, that there was that much of a plan out there for us, what a comfort that would be!"
"Why did you stop that day in the dining hall and speak to me?" he asked.
"Oh, well..." she hesitated blushing a little, "You were devastatingly handsome and you looked so sad all the time. I couldn't pass by you one more day without saying something. I wasn't planning to stay and eat, but then you looked at me, like you really saw me and who I was inside. Well, I had to stay and find out who you were."
"Devastatingly handsome, eh?" he said grinning widely.
She punched him in the arm, "Not going to forget that one are you?"
He laughed and kissed her gently, "Never in a million years," he said softly, stroking her cheek. "After all, you are the girl of my dreams."