Rain, go away, Harry Potter#039;s coming

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 18, 2003

"Rain, rain, go away, Harry Potter's on the way."

I know rain and Harry Potter aren't related, but that is what popped into my head Wednesday morning as I listened to the rain falling on my roof and a reporter on television talking about the release of the book at midnight on Friday.

They are also things I didn't expected to be thinking about nor waiting to happen. Let me take them one at a time and explain.

I live on a sand dune. At least that is how it seems when I try to grow anything. My soil is so sandy that water runs through it like a sieve, so watering is a big part of my life most of the time.

That has not been the case this spring. In fact, and I never dreamed I'd say this but we have almost had too much water. (Now that I've uttered those words, the drought will start immediately.)

The cucumbers and squash that usually beg for a drink are soggy, and instead of dragging hose, I am dumping water out of flower pots to keep plants from either mildewing or rotting.

This weather proves the saying that you can indeed get too much of a good thing. Since there isn't a whole heck of a lot I can do about the rain - well actually there is nothing I can do about it - I turn to the subject of Harry Potter.

The release of the new book has almost arrived, and like wanting rain to stop, I never expected to be excited about a children's book. I don't remember exactly why I picked up the first Potter book. It was probably on sale and I cannot resist a book on sale anymore than an addict can resist a fix.

Anyway, I bought the book and started reading at bedtime one night. About two hours later, I finally made myself turn out the light.

Like children the world over, this muggle was sucked into the world of wizards, magic potions and games played on flying brooms. It was hard to stop reading because as one child said, it is more like seeing the story than reading it.

That, I think, is a real compliment to the author who has managed to reconnect kids and reading, something that can only be a positive thing.

But I am hardly a child and I am as captured by the books as young readers. I think it's because Harry Potter is kind of an underdog, one who is searching for his place in the world. The fact that his world is magic and exciting makes it all the more fun to follow his quest.

There are also good lessons in the books about loyalty and honestly and the importance of friendship. And who can resist reading about owls that deliver the mail and paintings that talk.

So I am sitting here on this soggy morning patiently waiting for the rain to go away and for my pre-ordered copy of Harry Potter to arrive. I only hope the weather doesn't get in the way of the delivery truck because if my book doesn't get here Saturday, I'll be wet and upset. And that is something that even a Harry Potter magic potion won't be able fix.