Bridges are everywhere, all across the world.
You may see ancient stone bridges standing a thousand years. If you listen for ghosts, you can hear the march of soldiers, the creak of wagons, the clip-clop of horses.
Turn a verdant country corner.
Just there, between the poplars, you will see a quaint bridge with playful wrought iron, a hundred years ‘young.’ A tell-tale pink ribbon hints at a recent wedding and life’s warm, wonderful continuity.
From deafening swollen rivers to the smallest giggling brook, we build bridges to connect to each other—to family, neighbors, strangers, foreigners… enemies.
The waters divide; we join. We do. We build those bridges because we hope. We are always hoping, we have always hoped to join together. The human spirit is more powerful than a raging river.
We panic sometimes. We get suspicious. We suddenly fear the other side. We knock our bridges down.
A storm blackens the sky, and we forget the sun ever shone.
For a while.
But that is not the definition of “us.” We are better than our fear.
The river shimmers from a tiny crack in the desolate clouds, that first glimmer of light, and we suddenly remember. Curiosity returns, as constant as the flow of the river.
And, like our ancient ancestors everywhere—our mutual family carrying our shared DNA in their blood, we pick up that first stone and drop it in the water. Because THAT is who we are. And, with childlike innocence, wobbling and precarious and full of dreams, we take that first step to the other side.
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