Endings may not be so easy, but they are not optional in this life. There comes a time when a certain activity must be let go. Or a time when a relationship truly needs to end or, at least, change form. The art is knowing when this time comes and paying close attention to your true inner feelings rather than your ego, your pride, or the mental image of yourself.
A few weeks ago, Joyce and I, our daughter, Rami, her eight-year-old son, Skye, and our son, John-Nuri, spent four days rafting the Rogue River in southern Oregon. There is one rapid, Rainie Falls, that is a true class-five rapid. There is an option that is a bit easier, a man-made fish ladder that takes you around the more difficult falls. This is the way I usually go when alone on the trip with Joyce. Rami, however, is often up for the challenge of running the main falls. On the previous year’s trip, with Rami at the oars in the back of the raft, and John-Nuri and me paddling in the front, I got ejected from the raft and had to swim through the turbulence to the shore. It wasn’t fun! Then we walked back upriver and took a second raft down the falls. This time, when we took the final plunge, I stopped paddling and held on to the raft, which kept me in the boat.