About ten years ago, I was on a small commercial airplane, coming home from an early spring break to the warmer climes. The airplane had single seats with an aisle up the middle. The “back bench seat” held a Mom, son and daughter. To get up enough power to give both heat and forward movement, the pilot let us know upon take-off that he would not be turning on the cabin lights during our flight. The sun was beginning to turn red with its disappearing act. I ducked my head and read faster.
I had purposely sat on the side of the plane that would be getting the last of the sun’s rays when headed up the Rockies to home. Even with my pre-planning, the sun was rapidly descending behind the tall mountain crags. I squinted and shifted in my seat. Anything to delay having to stop reading. It was my first Harry Potter book. I was about half way through and did not want to have to delay my gratification of finishing it. It was my VACATION book. When I had to stop reading Harry Potter, my VACATION would be over. I held the book close to the window and squinted some more.
Finally, I had to admit defeat. It was simply too dark to continue. I gently closed the book and sat for a moment in “ode to Harry” mode. My understanding husband was so supportive. He reached across the aisle and held my hand. He bent his head towards a white-haired woman sitting two seats in front of us. I had seen the white hair, but had not taken notice of anything else. Then I saw what he was indicating, she had pulled out a flashlight and was reading Harry Potter.
Ah, Ha! Two old ladies coveting Harry Potter. What is it with Harry Potter that some folks find absolutely “spell-binding?” And other folks find absolutely nonsense?
My take? I love the richness of the metaphorical language that allows the reader to come to their own conclusions about what is or is not. A fantasy world that encourages the richness of imagination, no matter what the age.
I believe that the reason so many of us have fallen in love with Harry and Friends is because it revives some of our lost childhood, in a delicate manner. Those of us who like to play with our imaginations, but who have grown beyond the age of magic, can find a world of comfort in Harry and Friends. It allows us to “grow up again” in total safety. To believe all over again in the power of all that makes us the very best that we can be.
I’m a Muggle without a wand. But I’m a Muggle who can enjoy the world of magic and all that it can give me.
So the question is: How are we supportive of our Muggle children who find their own ways to participate in magic?