Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

No, it’s not another review. Suffice it to say I enjoyed it. I picked up a copy yesterday afternoon, around 2 pm. I finished at 10:30 pm today. Yeah, I read quickly. Okay, 607 pages in about 24 hours, with cooking and dishes, and sleep, and taking a child to school, and, oh yeah, helping a friend with her wedding website. I’m even impressed with myself.

At this stage of the game, I’m trying not to be distracted by the strangeness of the feeling: pride. Not much that I’ve been proud of in myself lately. So, as silly as it may be, I think I’m feeling proud of myself, in an odd kind of way. Reading is something I do really, really well. Now, how can I get paid for it? Universe?

I have a mixture of feelings right now. For the last day or so, I have been immersed in the magical war between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort. I emerge refreshed, like someone having a long, cool drink after weeks and months of drought. Between that and actually being useful to someone other than myself and my immediate family (see reference to website above), I’m actually feeling good. Yay!

I’m trying to extract some understanding from the process. I understand why I feel good about the website—I’m helping someone I care about very much, just giving and being helpful to someone else is a good charm against depression. But why does immersing myself in a fat book full of fantasy, magic, drama, and death make me feel better?

It’s not like it’s the first time. The magical world has held me in good stead for many years: The Chronicles of Narnia were first, followed not long thereafter by The Hobbit and then the full Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Dune series, as well as the Foundation series made their marks as well. These stories are deeply spiritual and renewing and they have given me hope when nothing else seemed able to reach my heart and move it. Truly a testament to the amazing power of words.

What do these words say? In the face of great evil, there is always hope. Not even death conquers hope on these pages and that truth leaps from the pages and becomes a beacon for my heart.

No, there are no evil wizards gunning for my blood. Nothing but the heartless grind of an illness that causes me to forget how to feel, to lose touch with what makes me human. I have a debt of gratitude to these authors for their words. Like a magic talisman that opens at the hour of greatest need, these stories have cast a spell of healing and given the gift of hope.

To someone with depression, there is no greater gift than hope. Hope and the knowledge that this disease is not me, not who I really am. I am profoundly grateful to these teachers. Thank you.