Always

“Always,” said Snape.

I just got done watching the last Harry Potter movie. We spread out part one and two over the weekend and I sit here, on my big blue couch, letting big waves of sad wash all over me.

Pulse. Wave. Sad. Pulse. Wave. Breath. Sad.

My dad loved those books.

When Harry Potter was eleven, I was eleven. Those stories a staple in my childhood and my adolescence.

Rewind six hours today and I’m standing, for the first time, in the oddest bookstore in town. In a small closet my ankle boots anchor me in front of a tall set of shelves. Big, wooden ones tucked away from the other rows of scattered books. On one shelf, at eye level, sit stacks and stacks of the series. Copies of all seven stories are accounted for. Five or six of each part of the grand story.

Piles of red books with gold lettering on worn spines. They’re all there. The first one – purple spine. The Chamber of Secrets. And on the shelf below piles of blue spines with the same gold lettering. The Half Blood Prince. And the green spine. And the orange. All the stories there. On shelves.

Reminding me of pages once loved and frantic flipping of paper to figure out what would happen next to our epic heroes.

Whoosh.

I’m eighteen years old.

Dad driving me to the midnight showing of the newest film after my senior appreciation dinner. I was wearing a blue hoodie and my Varsity tennis sweatpants. I sat with friends against the wall in the theater, feeling on top of the world. Invincible. I had accomplished so much.

Woosh.

It’s summer vacation and the two of us are sitting in a small cabin, each holding a copy of The Deathly Hallows across from each other, racing to read faster. Both in flannel pajamas. Staying up too late, drinking cocoa out of blue speckled metal mugs.

We always bought two copies when the new books were released because we couldn’t wait for our own turn. We had to read together. Who could get through the cliffhanger faster? He usually won. And the next morning we’d sit on the tiny wooden porch in the sun, debriefing the story, gasping at who the last casualty was to fall to he-who-shall-not-be-named.

Memories in story as we flipped page together. That gangly Harry Potter and his heroic crew weaving his fictional life with mine. With Dad’s.

That’s what good books do – they become an inseparable part of your story.

Woosh.

And tonight, I miss him. And I miss Harry. And the beautiful gold lettering. And those worn, well-loved spines.

Now the books just sit beautifully, in stacks, on shelves in used-book stores and studies that he no longer enters.

snape

But both of their stories linger in my heart and my fingers and my memories. Touch the spines, finger the gold letters, breath.

Pulse. Wave. Breath. Sad.

In other news, I had fun writing this guest post for More Native Than the Natives. I like living in Colorado and am proud to be from this beautiful state. It ain’t all bad folks. Feel the wave. Breathe. Move again in the morning.

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Tampons…. I’m thankful for Tampons….

Tampons. Seriously, I am thankful for tampons. Not that I need them this week, or would that be sharing too much information? Probably. This week, I was invited to participate in a really neat group for women called Dining for Women. Chapters all over the United States meet for fellowship and learn about programs all over the world that are benefiting women – teaching skills, empowering leadership, encouraging healthy family interaction, and acting on the idea that when women thrive, culture thrives. Women share a meal and are asked donate what they would estimate they would have spent if they would have gone out to dinner. This money then get’s donated back into programs and change lives in significant ways. The March program focuses on The BlinkNow Foundation, started by a woman named Maggie Doyne who is my age, who is doing wonderful things with the women in Nepal.

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Now in Nepal, to this day, women who are menstruating are considered dirty, tainted. During this time they must be completely separate from society, locked out of homes, schools, and work while nature does its work within their bodies. The BlinkNow Foundation is teaching women how to create a business selling their own handmade reusable sanitary napkins and encouraging women to not be ashamed of a process that is natural and reclaims the experience with so much potential. NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF. I think someone at Playtex, or Always, or Tampax really needs to partner with this amazing woman. While our culture certainly makes this process more, well, comfortable, for women here in the states, I think there is still a certain element of secrecy and shame to this process that all of us women go through each month. So, here’s to clearing the air on that issue. And I appreciate the multiple aspects of beauty in this situation. There is beauty when women gather to share food, beauty when young women follow their hearts to help others, and beauty when women are freed from shame and allowed to be themselves in community. And there is beauty in the fact that I can freely buy tampons.

Ok, so who is squirming? This week has also given me a few more things to appreciate. The weather is warming up, finally, and each morning the birds have been chirping when I press my sleep button over and over in the mornings. It makes it a little bit more bearable to get out of my warm bed. While daylight savings time did rob me of an hour of sleep over the weekend, the extra hour of light when I get out of work at the end of each day is incredibly beautiful. It lifts my spirits, and makes me a little bit more motivated to throw on my running shoes. I haven’t committed to that running regimen yet, but I’m thinking about it.  My baby brother turned 22 this week, and I was able to send lots of positive love and light his way and I get to house sit and take care of my puppies that I miss quite a bit. Dylan and I are thinking about getting a fish and are taking votes on names. Do you have any names you would like to throw into the bowl?

Overall it was a pretty good week. There are more good things to come, as whispers of change and exciting things are starting to float around our house. Stay tuned…. and don’t forget to vote for that fish name.