It’s a bridge season.
It’s April 15 and when we look outside our windows, it’s pure chaos. It’s rain and snow and I can hear the wind gusting past my window. Winter and spring are battling each other for dominance and it’s messy.
Personally, I also find myself in a bridge season in so many ways– the transition of one chapter ending and another one beginning. The walk from departure to a destination has turned good times into good memories. At the same time, the uncertainty of what lies ahead is a little scary, but also fills me with the anticipation of newness, and possibility. Now I’m trying to decide what to take with me and what to leave behind. Can you relate to this?
I’ve loved this bridge since the moment I first saw it.
It’s perfectly romantic, hiding just behind the hustle and bustle of Livingston Avenue and Mountain Road in Grimsby, Ontario. FortyMile Creek runs under it, and the entrance to the Bruce Trail welcomes you on the other side. I wish I could conjure up my inner-Anne-of-Green-Gables to find a better name for it, but for nearly four years, I’ve affectionately called it “the bridge” and that’s what it shall stay.
There’s something powerful about standing on a bridge, being suspended in between departure and arrival; point A and point B; this side and that side. You’re in the middle, in-between and I find this is usually when things get messy and most interesting:
When I’m in a bridge season, it’s usually when I have some big decisions to make. I must dig deep inside myself and answer that nagging question, what do I want? This question won’t go away no matter how many books I read or how people I talk to about it.
That’s what I think a bridge season is for.
Learning to listen to yourself. Learning to trust yourself.
When I’ve felt stuck this bridge has reminded me that there is always a way through, and always something to learn about myself along the way.
It’s also reminded me that no matter what, something awaits me on the other side and I shouldn’t back away from it. At the end of the day, that new thing will be whatever I make of it. While I’m sure there are exceptions this rule, I’ve started to believe that there are rarely “bad” decisions, especially if you’re just trying to do the thing that will bring more life and more love to you and the people around you. There are choices that might make the journey difficult, but also more interesting.
I can’t help but think of this bridge as a metaphor. It’s the place where I made the biggest and best decision of my life almost two years ago, when I saw my then-boyfriend standing on the bridge with a guitar in his hands and a ring in his pocket. That moment, when I said yes to his question, was just the start of a bridge season. I see now that it has been an ongoing journey of learning what I want, not judging or comparing those things and instead, accepting the goodness of those things. No matter how different they are from my original plan.
These days, I love just standing on the bridge. I wonder who else in Grimsby might come to this spot to think when they are in a bridge season. What other important decisions might have been made in this very spot. This spot where we can stand courageously as chaos rages in the creek below us and, especially today, in the air around us. This isn’t the end of the journey, it’s always just the start of a new one. Hang in there everyone, there’s something good waiting on the other side of this bridge. This too shall pass and spring will come.