When I was a child, Fridays used to be my favourite day of the week. Not much could equal the exhilaration of that 3 p.m. escape from school that heralded what seemed like endless hours of weekend freedom, and there was nothing like the day it was coupled with the end-of -June release into summer vacation.
I wonder if the crew of the space shuttle Endeavour experienced a similar end-of-mission excitement as they returned to earth today. Their sixteen days in space included a lot of history-making highlights – the first gathering of thirteen people in one place outside of earth’s boundaries, and the first meeting of two Canadians in space, Julie Payette and Bob Thirsk.
Thinking of other endings, I also wonder how the crew of the Albion Ferry feels today as it made its last sailing on the Fraser River at noon, crossing between Fort Langley and Maple Ridge. The new Golden Ears Bridge has made the ferry crossing obsolete, much to the disappointment of many who have enjoyed the free service since it began on June 7, 1957.
Endings can be bittersweet. Remember what it was like when you did that last save on a completed manuscript? All those months (in some cases years) of sharing your mind with the complexities of your characters’ lives finally reached a conclusion. Were you relieved to say goodbye or reluctant to send them out into the world on their own? Such moments are a little like watching your baby leave for his first day of kindergarten. There is regret for what is being lost but anticipation of what is to come.
Endings lead to new beginnings both in writing and in life.