Red Bridge

30 Aug


My imagination is sparked when I look at this picture.
I see a horse-drawn wagon approaching from the
distant side of the stream.  I hear hoofs clomping
on the wooden base, and I watch a young man as
he shifts the reins into one hand and lifts the other
in a big, friendly wave.

I’ve driven a lot of miles in the last few weeks,
and I’ve crossed a lot of bridges.  Some of them are
functionally common while others, mix-masters
they’re called, are works of engineering art.  How
anyone can design and construct one of those things
is a marvel and a puzzle.

In my hometown, a new bridge was built recently
over a very busy interstate highway.  It took more
than a year to put the pieces together, and a work
crew of skilled people…hundreds of them.  I like
the bridge but it doesn’t excite my imagination
like the old red covered-bridge.

History reminds me that covered-bridges were
built by communities, not companies.  Farmers
left their plows in the fields, gathered at the
stream bed with hammers, nails and wood from
an old barn that had been torn down.
And they built a bridge.
When they got tired, they stretched out on the bank of
the stream in the shade of friendly trees.  Their laughter
and the sound of hammers striking nails can be
heard to this day when the wind passes by.
They built a bridge.

May I make two suggestions?
Figuratively, we need to build some bridges.
There are a lot of metaphorical, raging rivers
that need to be spanned.  I can name them,
but you know them.   And, it wouldn’t be a
bad idea intentionally to create community
so that our common needs can be shared and
something done to address them.  Community
does not mean partisan factions.

Maybe bridges and community might help us
out of the mess we’ve created.

Who does it?
Not the anonymous “them”.
We do it.

One Response to “Red Bridge”

  1. gz August 30, 2019 at 9:06 am #

    I will try to be part of the ‘we’ group.

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