There is something about life right now that is inspiring a longing for clean sheets, dimmer lights, room service, and quiet. Maybe it’s the desire to escape.
J.K. Rowling fans, I know you’ve been thinking about book seven, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. To me, that moment when the Obamas left the White House was when we lost Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic all in a single blow. Now, it sometimes feels like we’re hiding out in secret, somewhere deep in the woods, searching for Horcruxes to destroy. Hoping. Knowing! Planning, planning, planning, planning. Willing ourselves to believe, when we are fatigued, that we have the power to take down evil.
There is a longing for safe order, but without it, we realize we must make our own.
A friend of mine reminded me recently about Harry Potter book five–another one filled with illustrations of resistance–and in it, the Order of the Phoenix, where the good gather within their safe house to plan Voldemort’s demise. And then I realized, that’s where I want to be right now.
I was having some of these thoughts recently when I went to a work-related conference on student mental health at the Copley Fairmont Plaza in Boston. For two days in a row, I left the world outside and sat for hours in a dimmer, quieter place: an ornate, old ballroom, where I listened to speakers, absorbed their hopeful words, and daydreamed.
There is something strange about being in an elaborate, ever-so-delicately run down space, hidden away from daylight for hours on end, getting lost in patterns and thoughts. It was a welcome pause.
I found myself wishing I could linger in my daydreams, wander into an elevator at the end of the day and find my way into a room on a high-up floor. Close the door, close my eyes, rest deeply.
But it wasn’t happening. This was just a conference, after all, and I wasn’t a guest.
When it was all said and done, everyone dispersed back out into the open, the stage left empty, people moving on to find their own way.
Wishing us all deep rest where we can get it, and deep strength for all the rest.