Last night I slouched in the armchair, with my legs over the arm on one side and my head rested on the arm on the other, and read these words:
An orange sickle of new moon hung above the chimneys in a deep mauve sky. Autumn bonfires glowed in the mist and floated white smoke-rings above it. The beach shone in the gathering dusk as the tide fell and the sea grew less perturbed. I turned and swam on into the quiet waves.
And in so doing I concluded Waterlog: A Summer’s Journey Through Britain by Roger Deakin. Like many books that I read, I loved reading it, but I also loved concluding it. It was journey for a period that had run its course.
Life is full of beginnings and it’s equally full of conclusions. Each day has a sunrise and each day has a sunset. Each year begins with January and concludes with December.
Sometimes the conclusion can feel like a journey that’s ended before it’s really got going, at others the conclusion feels like one more unexpected summit higher than the summits already climbed.
It doesn’t matter where on the journey the conclusion lands, it’s still the conclusion. We might not like where the conclusion fell, but that doesn’t change it’s place.
Without a conclusion nothing ends. Without a conclusion life is an endless beginning. Without a conclusion we are doomed to endlessly revisit the failures of our past. Without a conclusion there is uncertainty.
With a conclusion we end the good and the bad. With a conclusion we give birth to the new. With a conclusion there is applause. With a conclusion there is clarity.
With a conclusion he said "it is finished".