People speak of needing closure, usually in relation to death, such as many in the community near our cottage when a police officer died on duty recently. But I find that closures come all the time. It seems like a couple weeks ago we opened our cottage for the summer, hooking up the water, gas, electric, and internet. Now, today and tomorrow, my wife and I are boxing up staple foods we haven’t eaten, putting away lawn furniture and tools, fixing a sagging window frame, and turning off the utilities. We’re closing the cottage. Yet it seems we only just opened it, although it’s been seven months! Closures come all the time in life.
I look back and remember the worship services at the campground, the fellowship times with other cottagers, workdays, picnics or dinners out, and times for simply relaxing or swimming. I’ve gotten a lot of writing done during the summer season, and my website is up and running, along with this blog. My wife and I enjoyed the way our new dog, Finnegan, enjoyed the campground, especially his runs with Radley, a neighboring boxer who became his “brother” this summer.
I look ahead to the winter months. We don’t plan to travel, and we’re going to settle into a quiet routine of church work and worship, household tasks we allowed to languish during the summer, and hopefully, to being isolated by snowstorms. (This is one of the reasons I love winter in Pennsylvania, getting heavy snow and not being able to get out for days! It’s like a vacation!) I intend to do a lot of writing before Thanksgiving and after Christmas, and the holidays are always happy occasions around our home. And for me, the dead of winter is always alive with indoor activities, even if they’re more the activities of the mind than of the body.
Transitions—closures—are part of life. They’re an excellent time to look back and assess what you’ve gained and lost, to build memories that the bustle of activity kept you from making. Memories are largely evaluations we make of things we’ve done. Closures are when we appraise where we’ve been and where we’re going. When death is the reason, it’s of major importance that we pause to reflect on who and what was lost, but it’s equally important to recognize who and what was gained. When closures are needed because of simple evolutions from one phase of life to another, these twin evaluations are just as necessary. Whether it’s closing a cottage, starting a job, buying a home, having children, whatever the transition, you have to take stock of the pluses and minuses. Then you can enjoy where you’re headed.
Closures are part of living, a indispensable part.