Bridges fascinate me. Yes, they scare me a bit when I’m on them, but I love how they connect people and places that would otherwise remain separated.
The purpose of a bridge is universal. Like that infamous chicken attempting to cross the road, with the help of a bridge, we too can arrive on the other side. This, of course, is true no matter the locale.
Last weekend I was walking along the Brooklyn Bridge and there was a handful of vendors selling freshly cut mango. Instantly my memory transported me back to Bangkok and the half-marathon that took us across the Rama Bridge. During that run I breathlessly blurted to my running partner that the bridge reminded me of the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam which I saw on the train ride from Amsterdam to see a Coldplay concert. And that bridge reminded me of the one I cross on the way to Bangor, Maine.
You get the point.
What was I going on about?
Oh, right bridges as a metaphor for connection.
Connections, like bridges, aren’t always about uniting the similar, but about finding the commonalities, despite our differences.
Whether that connection occurs over a shared meal or a Mets game or Kevin Bacon, what matters isn’t the actually the what. The function of a bridge is always the same: To connect.
And just like crossing a bridge, making those connections can be scary. But if we want to move forward we have to be willing to cross from one side to the other.
What matters is what we do with the connection.
How many times have we been to a conference or event, met someone we vow to be in touch with… only to never follow up with an email?
What about the brilliant idea for the book we want to write (or whatever project we’re working on) that we choose not to write down… only to completely forget about it in the milieu of daily to-dos?
Connection takes effort.
Like the puttering poultry, we have to actually cross the bridge to reach our destination. Rarely in life do other people/ideas to arrive at our front door. Heck, sometimes we have to build the bridge ourselves! But the reward is worth the risk. Because the reward requires the risk.
Connection brings change.
The connection allows for the continual flow from one place to the next. Perhaps we commute daily, or perhaps we leave, never to return again. Regardless, once we cross the bridge, the landscape changes, and a part of us changes along with it.
And when the fear of being suspended over the unknown begins to take hold?
We’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.
In case you’re new to Show & Tell, Welcome! Each month is assigned a word which serves as the muse for the blog posts. The word this July? CONNECTION. I’d love to connect with you! Say hello on Twitter and Facebook!