I have been thinking about beginnings today. It is the first really warm and sunny start to a spring day we have had this year and the garden is full of daffodils, scilla, and hyacinths in full bloom. I have just cracked open a brand new moleskin journal with all the potential that holds and we are at the new moon phase of the month. All beginnings, and all holding the joy of the unknown that is about to unfold.
Along with beginnings, of course, also come endings and I have been thinking about those also. I am thinking today of some of the endings that I have not done well. I have this beautiful sweater sitting in my basket with only a small part of a sleeve and a button band to finish.
It has been there for a year, maybe two. And this hat…
Both projects will require some concentration and relearning on my part because they have been put away for so long. But as I look at them now I can see the beauty in them that attracted me in the first place. Maybe I don’t finish things when they get hard because it is easier to move on to the next exciting project than to stay with the much more difficult task of bringing something to completion.
It is not only my knitting project basket that holds the discomfort of the unfinished. I have two university certificates each lacking the final course because when it came time to complete them my life had moved in a different direction. I am not good at dividing myself. It is a quality of mine and also a fault as all my unfinished projects so vividly remind me.
I am getting better at completions. I have had to. I am learning that as hard as they are, they are the necessary final act: the tying together of all that has come before. My greatest teacher about this was my father. I am thinking about him this morning because it was on a day something like this six years ago that he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He died within three months. I had had my own first really serious health issue shortly before but I knew I had to be there for my dad’s final act. This was not something I could leave in a project basket to pick up again later. There were no final chances here. I showed up for him every day even though it was gut wrenchingly hard and my tears flowed freely. It taught me about resilience and love and doing the right thing even though it took every bit of emotional stamina I had. And it taught me that endings can be even more beautiful than beginnings if they are done with presence and love.
And for this final lesson, I am forever grateful.