I don’t love heights, but I love bridges. To me, the middle of a bridge is the most beautiful spot in the world, literally and figuratively. Because bridges aren’t just for getting from one place to the next; they provide a vantage point to see both where you were and where you are going — if you take the time to pause during the transition.
A lot of the most interesting things in physics and in life happen in transitions. The Great Smoky Mountains are named so due to the ever-present mist, which is water suspended in the transition between a liquid and a gas. Who says physics isn’t beautiful? Anyone who’s felt the moment when a friendship turns into More also knows the beauty of a transition.
There is danger in getting stuck on a bridge, especially when on one side there is relief from what you left behind and on the other side is the hopeful vision of what lies ahead. That point in the middle is pure freedom. Moving forward can be hard, because it means crossing over into reality, which rarely lives up to its possibilities.
Of course, not all transitions are great or interesting or even wanted. But that’s when a bridge is also a friend. It’s going to take you from what you lost to whatever comes next, but it will also provide a safe place to rest in between.
Click below to see pictures of breathtaking bridges across the world:
Update 28 Jan 2012:
Call me oblivious, but it didn’t occur to me while I was writing this post that the banner on my blog contains a bridge, as does the cover of my book. I am also partial to the semi-colon and have been since high school, much to one teacher’s chagrin. I bring it up, because today I heard a semi-colon described as a bridge between two thoughts. So I guess it’s true; I really do love bridges!