The sun sets on my final day out on the range, the sky darkening towards dusk as out to the east across the Gulf, the full moon begins to rise. Within minutes the sky darkens from blue to orange to purple, and on towards black as we head back across the water. Here for a moment, east of the sun and west of the moon as the sky darkens, we finally know that we are done here.
Yesterday’s acceptance tests passed with flying colours; just another day as boring as many others, but so much more significant. It’s the day we’ve been waiting for for more than four years, the day that seemed immeasurably distant just a year ago. But now it has come and gone. This project has been a constant for me since the early days of 2007, something never-changing for the duration in which I’d moved house, gotten engaged, had a child, and so much more besides. And it’s over.
Pink Floyd playing off an iPod as we watch progress bars tick up, cleaning the system, checking it, backing it up. Final tasks, in preparation for leaving.
We drive back to the compound as darkness ascends, lights flickering on beside the roads and the buildings of the old town. Maybe that’s goodbye to the range forever, though I very much doubt it. There will be warranty calls and support requests, fresh new plane tickets in my hand as I fly out here again sometime, months or years from now. But the project as it was is done, four signatures at the bottom of a page signalling our freedom.
This time tomorrow night I will be in Bahrain, awaiting my flight; then home once more, home to a gorgeous fiancee and an adorable son, a ton of laundry to do and a world that no longer includes this project.