Everything comes to an end. And with the end comes a new beginning. We all know that. But I don’t have the beginnings on my mind, I’m in a philosophical mood, so I’m preoccupied with endings. And rightly so. A few things happened to me lately that focused me on how time passes on its own terms and brings all things to an end.

I just ate my last peach of this year. It was actually way past the last….and it set my mood for excogitation.  This last peach had the taste of ending. It wasn’t even sweet and juicy and it came from Spain. It didn’t explode in my mouth with the exuberance of summer and suntan lotion. It didn’t take me back to my childhood and my mother, making peach jam and peach chutney. Instead, I mentally experienced the gloomy saying goodbyes after a visit, the reluctant packing up after a glorious holiday, the unsettling sadness of a dry christmas tree.

I didn’t have enough peaches this summer. I should’ve enjoyed it to the full when it was in abundance. This last peach made me once again realize the impact of time on our lives. That we only get one shot at living.


This is a clock my mother left me. I don’t like it, it is plain ugly. But I love it. It carries a beautiful message. Almost a warning. It chimes every 30 minutes and at 12 you litterally have to stop talking to give the clock twelve chimes. Before every chime, there is  just the tiniest of warning that it is about to erupt in jubilation; a soft click, so soft you have to be close enough to hear it, you have to almost pay attention. That is just how time is. There are warnings everywhere around us that time is not waiting for us, not giving a second chance, not caring how busy or idle we are. The click is there, we have to pay attention, listen to the 12 chimes; use the silence to think.


Today I’m sad because things end. But I’m also thankful for time. Because time is kind in its cruelty, it is consistent, it doesn’t linger, it can’t be bribed. Because 12 chimes force me to keep quiet and listen and think. About today and about tomorrow. And tomorrow, it forces me to be grateful for new beginnings. Tomorrow it will give me quince instead of peaches.

Both sketches in WC and pen in moleskine

25 thoughts on “Endings

  1. Ronell, this is beautifully written and beautifully painted – the peach is stunning but you have really unsettled me with all this talk of endings. I do hope this is a passing mood pinned down, examined and offered up to art and not as sad a time as it sounds.

  2. Robyn…No, on the contrary, things are fine! It is sort of a meditation after some sad news from SA, but it is all OK. Good thing is that I am newly inspired to take on the priorities in life!!
    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. As Robyn said, Very beautifully written! Your art is beautiful too. I glad this is just a reflective moment! My computer died today, so I am thinking of endings as well! Caught a virus and it looks like I will be losing everything. I am posting on the wife’s laptop. I will have some work to do to when I get the computer back!

  4. Your beautiful little paintings always bring a smile to my face! A wonderfully written sentiment about time. I was just talking to a friend today about the chapter I’m at in my life and how glorious it is! I would hate to dwell on the youth of the past when there’s still just “so much to do and see and not nearly enough time!” Absolutely, we need to seize the moment!!

  5. Cara — you have made me weep with the pure poetry of your words, with the beauty of your paintings …. so so true, mia cara, so true … I love what you’ve said, how you’ve said it, how you painted it …… wow!!!

  6. I said goodbye to one of my dearest friends today…weeping and not sure if it was because she at times was a mother to me, a dear sister but above all a most beloved friend. An ending….but like you I love quinces!!! And I love life and color and beautiful words as you write and lovely old peaches and chiming old clocks done a la Ronell! …Let’s celebrate beginings!!!

  7. I like your reflective and philosophical blog entry…how right you are about your thoughts of time… and I love your beautiful sketches! Well done, well written …and well received! Thank you for sharing this.

  8. You are right, things end, but there are always other things – sometimes great things! – beginning. And it is good to be aware of endings and beginnings, aware that time passes, so that we can fully enjoy the small details that make life so precious. Like juicy peaches in summer and sour-sweet quince in autumn. I loved this post of yours and I love your new blog (another great beginning!)

  9. And we are the ones that can changes endings in beginnings. And you can create things that can give way to glorious beginnings.

    Come on, pick up your pencils and go through it.

  10. You are right about time being fair. It democratically moves weather we are having a great time or a really hard time. Lovely drawings. I’m right there with you aboat the peaches. I’m now into eating apples in thier prime.

  11. Ronell – this is so beautifully written, and so lovingly illustrated – it was simply a joy to find this morning. I’ve had a rough few days with work and clients and life and your post reminds me to slow down and really enjoy the things I’m letting slip by in my fuss over the things I can’t control. Thank you so much.

  12. Ronelll, I came by for a visit the other day, and forgot to leave a note! The peaches are just wonderful – I think you’ve hit the perfect note here – loose and flowing but “juste”. I think the beauty of Autumn becomes more intense because of the sadness we feel at the end of summer and the prospect of winter – but Spring will follow!

  13. Ronell,

    Beautiful words and pictures. I sympathize with your thoughts. I’ve been waking at night with similar thoughts recently. There were many things I planned to do this summer that didn’t get done. My oldest daughter moved away from our town. Our youngest will be away for Christmas. I didn’t get to do all the things with them I was going to do. Time is passing … but I’m alive…

  14. Thoughtful post, Ronell. Life is sweet and time is short. The challenge is remembering that everyday instead of getting bogged down with the cares of life. The peaches may have been disappointing, but the painting is lovely!

  15. As I was reading your post, I too, felt concern but I’m glad you are okay. (((Hugs))) You have such a way with words, Ronell. A thought-provoking post and beautifully written. I love your paintings as always ~ 🙂

  16. Ronell, this post was a masterpiece. I read it with awe and a feeling of connection to your every word. I’ve been feeling so much of the same and hadn’t put it into words. I ate peaches every day this summer, sometimes two in one day and enjoyed them thoroughly and this was a first for me. I’d never paid any attention to them before, probably because I’d never had great, fresh, organic , in season peaches until this summer. When I ate my last peach last week it was bland and mushy and I had that sad feeling of wanting to hang onto summer and resistance at accepting the change in the weather and the approaching holiday season and new year. I also have an ugly clock of my father’s but turned off the hourly bird chime because it made me even anxious and even more conscious of the passing minutes. Thank you for this beautiful writing and the lovely pictures.

  17. Your post is beautiful, as are your paintings.

    Your words spoke to me. My father died September 4. His life was a testament to savoring and appreciating every moment. In fact, his last words to my children were that life is too fleeting and to not waste any opportunity.

    This summer, for the first time ever, our peach tree had peaches. They were the best I have ever tasted. But, there weren’t that many (we had a japanese beetle outbreak) and they were soon gone.

    I think there might be a message to be drawn from that and my father’s last words and your post. Your writing today was a gift. Thank you.

  18. Beautiful post Ronell

    My grandmother had a clock just like that – I vividly remember that little click before it went into the big production number at midday. It sat on the mantelpiece and made noises and chimed all the way through the afternoon that I sat with her on the day that she came to her own personal end. You reminded me of that today and of the truth of your words.

    We need to recognise passages and things that will come again and things that will be no more.

  19. Thankyou for this, it reminds me that life is constantly giving us the gift of renewal, something I’ve relied on, but need to cherish. x

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