If you don’t want to know the ending of this book, don’t read on.
Several people in my church have told me how disappointed they were with the epilogue to Deathly Hallows, when Rowling relates the small doings of all the people who survived the era of Voldemort. What they named their children, what those children’s lives and anxieties were like, a few hints as to what the parents did for a living…it’s a domestic scene so utterly unlike the ferocious unreality of the body of the 7 books that, frankly, it’s a bit hard to take. All that blood, sweat, and tears, so that we’d know that 19 year old Teddy is kissing 18 year old Victoire, (oh, how I hate that Brittish expression “snogging”: I refuse to use it!) and that little Albus Severus is worring himself sick that he will be sorted into Slitherin House at school? It just doesn’t seem quite fitting. It just goes against our ironic natures; it’s a little too happy for UU’s, I think. It’s better suited to our neighbors in the Church of Religious Science from which we return, when we stray, shaking our heads saying, “They’re so….optimistic!” We want a few more scars, more PTSD, another generation family dysfunction. We think that is “realistic.” We UU’s didn’t fall very far from our Puritan tree.
I was disappointed too, but this odd little add-on is growing on me. A bit of a poem by my colleague Lynn Unger put it in perspective. She’s talking about the Lillies of the field and our obsession with our appointments. She ends,
your work will always matter.
Yet Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.
Life is supposed to be lovely and happy and free and focused on the small doings of our families and gardens. That’s what Jesus was trying to say. Lynn softens it to reassure us that the stands we take and the accomplishments of our appointments do also matter. But they are derivative. The lily itself is the important thing.