"Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known."
-Winnie the Pooh
Situated on a country road in the shallow valley of a forest near my childhood home there sits a moss-covered concrete bridge. The canopy above opens and closes at the wind's command, letting golden sunlight dance on the water gently flowing out from under the bridge, toward tomorrow.
I have crossed this bridge too many times to count. An interestingly uninteresting structure, this bridge is, for a couple reasons. It literally delivered me from childhood to points near and far about the globe. But more importantly…because there were other roads from my house to the world…this bridge served as a portal for the imagination, dreams, and adventure of a boy.
But we forget.
We allow the act of crossing a bridge to become so common place that we fail to recognize or acknowledge the important span between the supports. I passionately work on perspective and its role in my life, yet I still catch my thoughts far beyond and long away; especially when the destination is predetermined and the journey but a means to that end. I suspect most adults are exceptional at crossing bridges in this manner.
We adults also contend with the bridges built in the mind, bridges that cause grown men to yield. They give us pause because we know not where they lead. What happens? The unfortunate manifestation of fear circumvolving change and uncertainty serves adults in a terribly limiting nature.
Always crossed on the way from one place to another, bridges provide important and necessary structure in the world. A bridge will deliver us to the other side of something otherwise difficult to pass, or by not crossing will deviate the path meant for us to take.
Here I sit, on a bridge, contemplating the gentle flow of water toward tomorrow. Here I sit, at a bridge. Contemplating.