Although it would not be accurate to say that the Sycamore House is exactly like Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, these two old buildings have some notable similarities.
Like Hogwarts, the Sycamore House is headed by a wise and caring wizard (though Emmy Corey’s beard is not quite as cool as Dumbledore’s). The occupants of both establishments are dedicated to enthusiastic young people in the midst of a discernment process (and have their mail delivered by owls).
The most powerful similarity however, is that both buildings contain Rooms of Requirement.
The Room of Requirement is a magical room at Hogwarts that changes its shape and contents based on the needs of a passerby. Wizards need only think of what they need and walk past the Room of Requirement three times and the room will provide.
It seems that some rooms of the Sycamore House operate in a similar, magical way.
The basement has functioned as a concert hall for five local bands, a roller rink, a book storage space for the book sale fundraiser, and a yoga studio. Our living room has been a cinema, a stay-treat center, and a massage station.
The most Room-of-Requirement-like space in our home is the kitchen table. We have used this space as emergency storage for the overabundance of food and paper products that we have been generously given, as a parlor to entertain guests, as a game room, craft corner, and as an interpretive dance platform. It has been a tea room, a secret clubhouse, and a stage for impromptu stand-up comedy. But the simplest and most beautiful way it has functioned is just as a kitchen table. It has held all of the Friday breakfasts, evening meals and pop tart snack times as well as the heaviness of emotional days and the lightness of silly jokes.
This house has been versatile enough to fill all of our needs, strong enough to hold all of our emotions, and comfortable enough to allow us to feel at home and build community. It’s almost as though we all walked past the house three times while thinking of all the things we might need from it.