Wednesday, February 28

28 days as a general rule are plenty

A clean slate: this was the theme of Martha Stewart’s January issue. Well, we’re two full months into 2007 and I’m still working on cleaning my slate. I determined to finish books and projects underway and to do the things on my “list of things to do” before I undertook anything else. And while I haven’t followed this plan completely (there was that impulse reread of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire a couple of weeks ago), I have made some progress. Bethany, Hilary and David all have had the books I borrowed returned to them. Salvation Army received a load of cast-offs. The sweater I started knitting last fall is inching along again.

Today is the last day of February, and I’m glad of it. The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance was right: for such a beastly month as February, twenty-eight days as a general rule are plenty. I’m ready for sunshine warm enough to enjoy outside and not just through windows. It will be a bit sad to say goodbye to scarves and my red suede shoes, but that’s a small price to pay for strawberries, Birkenstocks, skirts and fresh herbs.

On Monday night I dreamed that I was Harry Potter on the night before my final confrontation with Voldemort. Don’t ask how I knew it would happen the next day; I just did. It was evening and hundreds of people were camping out in tents on the Hogwarts grounds (which looked like the lawn surrounding Mt. Olive Presbyterian Church). They had built bonfires and there was a festive sense of expectation in the air, not unlike the Triwizard Tournament. Everyone believed that I (Harry) would be victorious—except me. I was anything but certain of it, and I felt alienated from everyone else. I peeked into the windows of the Riddle house nearby (which looked like my parents’ living room—the Riddles have the same butterfly rug, apparently), and some ghostly flashes of light told me Voldemort was at work.

I would say July 21 can’t come quickly enough, but I’m in no hurry to have this series over. And my dream didn’t make me any more confident about Harry’s chances of survival. In 2005 I dreamed that the Belhaven library accidentally put out their copies of The Half-Blood Prince a few days early, and I had a chance to read it before anyone else did. That’s two dreams about Harry Potter. Can anyone help me? I seem to have a problem.

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