Here at This End of These Things

“For the Quest is achieved, and now all is over. I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.”

Frodo Baggins in The Return of the King
As written by J.R.R. Tolkien

If you only know The Lord of the Rings from THE MOVIES ™, you will recognize that as the first of several, somewhat quick, endings to the journey. If you’ve read the books, and if you liked THE MOVIES™, you should, there’s quite a bit more to the story.

I’ll be reading that as I finish The Return of the King this week. This time around that will not include the appendices because I want to finish before we leave for the beach.

That’s right, we leave for the beach a week from tomorrow. I may have mentioned that already.

It’s a rainy morning in mid-August and we’re nearing the traditional end of summer. In normal years, we’d be thinking about the last day at the pool, or perhaps the last slide in the water park. But 2020 has been anything but normal.

Still, it’s back to school time. I realize that each one of my millions of readers may be facing a different back to school experience.

If you’re a teacher, like my wife, you’ve probably been subjected to eleben-teen hunnert “Personal Development” sessions which are neither personal nor developmental.

There are other things ending as well. I mentioned last week that Kings Dominion will not be opening in 2020. I’ll be driving up later today to return our uniforms. I won’t even get to go in and hug the Eiffel Tower goodbye.

On the ending of things on my to do list, I’m letting a domain name expire. It was part of a project or a dream that started some thirty years ago. When I reached Certified Meeting Professional status in my job in DC, I had visions of creating my own event management company. I had the perfect name for a Virginia meeting planner:

Historic Occasions: Celebrating the Past, Creating the Future.

I even had the website. Things changed and I realized that I no longer was focused on meetings and conventions. I tried for a while to morph it into a theatrical production company. But I realized that while I was doing much of that type of work, I was not doing it under the umbrella of my own company. So, I’m letting the domain name go and I’ll have one less website to worry about. I’ll still have the name around “just in case.” But I won’t be paying the $18.00 a year to keep the website.

Truth is, I had this same internal conversation last year and decided to keep the website and spend the $18.00. I just didn’t get my money’s worth.

I plan to use the savings to buy an extra shrimp at the beach.

Did I mention that we’re going to the beach? I may have.

There’s another ending out there that’s not really my own, but it makes me sad.

I’m seeing friends post on social media things like “if you’re voting for this administration, please unfriend me now.”

Really? Have we really come to that?

You keep using that word diversity, I do not think it means what you think it means.

As a teacher, are you willing to dismiss your students? As an attorney are you willing to dismiss your clients? As a businessperson are you willing to dismiss your patrons?

You certainly, for the moment at least, have the freedom to do so, but pardon me if I question your judgment.

The Write Side Shop
(click the pic)

Are we really willing to give up years of relationships, be they personal or professional, because of a difference in politics?

If you answer yes to that, then perhaps it’s time for you to realize that your problems are not with the occupant of the White House.

Yes, I went there. You should to.

I used to play hardball politics. I wrote and edited for what was then the leading conservative blog in the Commonwealth. True story.

I made a decision several years back that I don’t want to play those reindeer games. I’ve chosen instead to try to create things that are good and uplifting. Sometimes, I actually succeed.

Don’t get me wrong, I could return to political blogging today and eliminate my entire Christmas card list before the weekend’s over. I have chosen not to do that.

I am still very passionate about politics and the temptation to get back into the mix is sometimes very strong.

Still, even though my fingers may cramp when I work to keep them away from the keyboard, or I may become nauseated from the eye rolls, I’m not ending anything over social media.

Jesus said:

You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?

Matthew 5:43-46

If you’re not familiar, that’s from the Sermon on the Mount. Read the whole chapter, it will do you good.

You’ll find that there are no disclaimers.

I’ve been to the hillside near the Sea of Galilee where Jesus spoke these words. Twice actually.

That’s not the beach I’m going to. Did I mention we’re going to beach? I might have.

But I plan to sit by the water and think about lots of things. I’m also hoping to forget a lot of things.

Whether your happy place is the beach, or the mountains, or just your back porch, maybe you want to give it a try.

Maybe if we all did that we’d have a better ending to 2020.

That’s a fact, Mr. Frodo.


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