The Professor – On Endings & Beginnings


“Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” 

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Beginnings always have eager expectancy that something significant will happen.  We revel in adventures that challenge us to leave our comforts behind and take the first tentative step on an unfamiliar pathway; we yearn to be explorers who sail uncharted waters or climb mountains that reach to the heavens.  Instinctively, we know that our lives will, in some way, be changed forever.  Excitement and anticipation become our companions.

Endings bring finality and a profound closure.  We have changed, but so has our world.

Endings bring farewells, the poignant leave-taking.

J.R.R. Tolkien viewed endings as another beginning, as a circle rather than a straight line.   “The Road goes ever on and on…”


The Scottish Highlands

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone.
Let others follow, if they can!
Let them a journey new begin.
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.” 

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings