What Fantasy Teaches Us

I recently took my sons to hear a local symphony play all our favorite songs from Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars…and yes, much to my boys’ embarrassment, I cried. What can I say? Music moves me. But really, it was more than that; it was knowing what the music was doing in the minds of everyone in the room.

You see, while we were packed tight in our seats, listening intently to the rumble of the drums, the high pitch of the piccolo and the deep moan of the cello, we began to dream. If only for a moment, we were mixing potions, flicking our wands and battling Voldemort. Our eyes glistened as we shot fireworks with Gandalf, nestled in the branches of Tree Beard, backpacked to the ends of the earth while fighting orcs to the death. Smiles grew on our faces as we zipped across the galaxy, trained with Yoda, and battled Darth Vader with our ever-glowing light sabers.

But, all good things come to an end. The music stopped, the applause died down, we left our seats and stepped back into reality. It didn’t take long before I started thinking about all the horrors in our world and for a moment, but only a moment, I felt silly for being swept away into fantasy. But as I walked down the sidewalk listening to my sons talk about the music, the movies, the books, the characters that have become friends…I thought, perhaps the fantasy helps us face reality.

I think my sons have learned what sacrificial friendship means thanks to Harry, Ron and Hermione. They’ve learned what it means to carry one another’s burdens thanks to Frodo and Sam. Thanks to all these characters my boys have learned about life, death, love, loss, commitment, sacrifice and honor. But special thanks go to Luke, Leia and Han for teaching my boys that no matter what, you don’t, under any circumstance, give in to the dark side.

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