Thanks, Ms. Rowling.

All good things must come to an end, and tonight we say good-bye to Harry and Hermione and Ron. Luckily, I will still get to see my son through the reading of most of the books. My daughter will hold as tightly to this series as she does her much-loved puppy who now resembles some sort of sick-looking, once fluffy rag. But, indeed, it is hard to let go.

I have been thinking a lot about why this is such a big deal. At it's most basic, Harry Potter is a good series. By nature, I am not a fan of fantasy, but this series had characters whose insecurities I felt drawn to so much so that entering their magical work did not alienate me. That had never happened to me before. The fact that is well-written restores my faith in our culture when we collectively get on board with something that captivates us and engages our minds and is well-done. This isn't always the case with cultural phenomenons.

JK Rowling, whose journey is mind-blowing even to her, is just like one of us. She has been up front about how the story just "dropped into her head" on one of countless train rides. As a single mother on a train long ago, she kept at that story while pursuing more practical means of getting by. Yet she couldn't ignore what was in her heart and her head. Listening to the art that resides within us is a lesson we can all benefit from. Her situation, while singular in its enormity, speaks to the possibilities of what happens when you follow your those little inklings and ideas.

And of course, there are the countless lessons learned from Harry, Dumbledore, and company- far too many to list. But among the best is we truly we cannot underestimate the power of love. Trite as it may sound, Voldemort just doesn't understand that Harry's mother could have loved him enough to die for him. It is a feeling that he never experienced--true, untarnished, in-your-face love and serves as the ulitmate protection for Harry.

It might be over, but it won't be soon forgotten. Many of us will share Harry Potter with our kids and grandkids and in doing so, keep Hogwarts alive and well for years to come.

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