A bridge represents movement and direction. Movement is good. Where there is movement, there is no stagnation, or stagnation is about to dissolve. Crossing a bridge is like being in liminal space. One is in between two points. The bridge itself is not the destination, it’s the means to get to the other side.
Compared to the place of departure and the destination, there is nothing going on on the bridge. One could even say that it is empty. Yet it may be precisely this emptiness, the beautiful vistas of the sky, the water and the land and the anticipation of the destination on the other side that makes crossing a bridge so exhilarating.
However, crossing a bridge is usually not easy. A bridge can be steep. It may take a lot of effort to cross it. Any bridge runner or walker can testify to that. It is good to prepare for the crossing by learning about the bridge and bringing along things that sustain us and help make the strenuous journey more comfortable.
We cross bridges because we hope for something worthwhile on the other side. If our longing is strong enough, we will decide to tackle the effort it takes to get across. Sometimes our yearning pales before the anticipated effort and we endlessly postpone crossing a bridge, although deep inside we know that we need to set out and do this.
I am on a bridge right now, on the ascending side. This means I am on the steep side that takes the most effort. The zenith of my crossing is not even in sight yet, leave alone the other side. I am on a spiritual journey that is both hard and liberating.
Exactly two years and eight months ago something happened that provided the impetus to catapult me out of my ‘old’ life and comfort zone and set me on my spiritual bridge crossing. It was a book I read, or rather the author of this book. Since that moment in time in August 2009, I have been in that liminal space with the beautiful vistas and the anticipation of something much more worthwhile on the other side, prepared and equipped with the teachings and practices of old sages who crossed the bridge before me.
Although, I don’t know my destination, those before me have described it extensively and provided the necessary maps and instructions. This they have done for me and for all of mankind out of the indescribable love and compassion they have developed during their own journey and bridge crossing. That’s how I know that my destination on the other side of the bridge is worthwhile and I am ready to put forth the effort to reach it.
While trotting along on my path, I will marvel at the vistas of the sky, the water and the earth and work hard on developing those qualities in myself that I so admire in the old sages.