Of course it started with the Sorcerer's Stone.
I was in 4th grade attending Desert Hills Elementary school and had just discovered Harry Potter in our cozy school library.
I fell in love with Harry, Ron and Hermoine (especially Hermoine) and their enduring friendship, the Burrow where the Weasley's dwelt, magic & Hogwarts, Quidditch, and Dumbeldore. I loved it all.
Harry Potter saw me through elementary, middle, and high school. With each new book I became more and more tethered to the characters and the world they lived in. Harry Potter made me believe in magic, truly and genuinely. Today, it reminds me to still look for magic in the world, especially during hard & trying times.
Harry Potter came with me when I was getting my undergraduate degree at New Mexico State. For my 19th birthday, some old friends pulled together and got me a gift certificate for $60 at Black Rat tattoo parlor, where I got my first tattoo: a golden snitch. At the time, it was simply a pure homage. To me, the snitch encompassed everything about the magical world I loved, and seemed the best use of my $60 certificate.
Almost immediately after that, the snitch took on a new meaning. Relieving myself of a bad relationship, the snitch became a symbol for me: a seeker endlessly seeking. Seeking knowledge, seeking experience, seeking other places, other people - just seeking with a burning curiosity for more. Today, my snitch is faded, but its meaning to me is vibrant as ever.
Harry Potter & my golden snitch traveled with me during the summer of 2015 through the Scottish highlands with my dearest friends in the world. We rode the Jacobite steam train featured in the films that transports young witches and wizards from platform 9 & 3/4's to Hogwarts.
We started in the town of Mallaig, a quaint sea town where I had the best damn prawns I will undoubtedly ever have in my life, and where the train was stationed. For our journey, we went to the local grocer and picked up fresh bread, cheeses, fruit, olives, and a bottle of champagne. We crossed the infamous Glenfinnan viaduct which overlooks Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument. To say it was glorious would be an understatement.
It was also on this trip when my then boyfriend michael asked me to marry him. My snitch and I were enjoying some scotch aboard a touring boat sailing across Loch Ness, looking silly with our bright orange beanie. He sang Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud to me on the ship's megaphone, in front of the whole touring group. It's forever one of my most beautiful and cherished memories, and one of the happiest times in my life.
And so Harry Potter became a part of my marriage, and a point of deep connection among our group of friends. This Christmas when Matt and Nat were here, we marathon watched all of the films together, creating yet another cherished memory of the four of us, sitting together in our home, the fire blazing, hot chocolate or hot toddies keeping hands warm, laughing and crying together through all eight films.
I daydream about reading Harry Potter to the kids michael and I want to have, and I know Harry Potter and my golden snitch will see me through yet another stage of my life; seeking along life's journey with my beloved husband and furry companions.
And this brings me endless comfort.