The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning. ~Ivy Baker Priest
Recently, I was saying good-bye to a friend and feeling very sad. True to form, however, I tried to put not necessarily a happy spin on the situation, but a more manageable spin. I thought of the good-byes I have experienced and began to think of a good-bye as a “pause”, not an ending.
I thought of when I was little and my father encouraged us to say “so long” instead of good-bye. Even though I was a child at the time of his passing, I can remember relatives saying “So long, Uncle Buster”. They knew what I had yet to understand.
Sometimes a good-bye is not as poignant. We wave to visitors as they leave us. We have friends of whom we lose track over time. We leave a relationship with a friend, spouse, or perhaps a job. Whatever the situation, the sadness and dread of letting go of what is familiar is there.
As I look back at that first poignant experience with saying good-bye and other good-byes, I have come to an understanding. I will see my father again; other farewells, perhaps, are not so certain. In the meantime, I will use the interruption as a pause which has created a space for possibilities, reflection, and beginnings.
These pauses in our lives are useful. They are a time for rest. A time to reflect on where we have been, where we are and where we are going. A time to review what has worked and what hasn’t; what needs more development to tell the difference.
Going forward, I will consider this and think about a parting as “so long”. Not a promise of return, but a space for possibilities and hope.
As Priest reflects, the place which seems like an end, may be a beginning.