When Old Bridges Pass

The Old Bay Bridge (photo eDomnation).

The Old Bay Bridge (photo eDomnation).

The old bridge runs alongside the new.  Like a shadow of my past crossings, it’s a stark reminder that nothing in this world is permanent.  Piece by piece, they disassemble the steel, and each morning I glance over my right shoulder to see how much more of it is gone.  Gone, relegated to our memories.

Not to get all Benjamin Button here, but it’s an incredibly powerful thing – with each day I drive on the new bridge, it becomes less new, and at the same time the old bridge becomes less, well, there.  It’s a paradox that makes my commute interesting, to say the least, and it’s not that unlike raising my son.  With each morning, I watch him grow, and at the same time, I inch nearer to, well, the end.

My thought isn’t meant to be morbid.  We are all headed to where old bridges go, I’m afraid.  The silver lining certainly has to be the journey.  The journey that makes up our memories, and the memories of others.  It’s that, and the ability to say “I remember when.”  I remember when I crossed an old double decker bridge.  I remember when I could hold my son in one hand.  I remember when crossing a bridge was an adventure in its own right.  I remember when.

Categories: Creative Writing, Life, Perspective

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. Change is a constant of life. I am reminded of it every day I travel from one end of the city to the other. I’ve lived long enough to see how much my surroundings have changed in the last half century and you are right about our memories. They punctuate our journey through life. Photos are always lovely to have, too, reminding ourselves of that journey and reinforcing the memories we hold dear. 🙂

  2. I’m an old man. time is water under the bridge.My first memory of a bridge was majic. we, my brothers, sisters and Mother, walking over the Market Street Bridge, which spanned the Susqehanna River, and two worlds. A world confined by our home and back yard to a wide open universe. We (they) pulled our red wagon, with all the goodies Mom packed to Mountain Beach. now home to the Little League World Series site. what splendor, watching through the fence, the paid admitees diviing , swimming and sun bathing. we were more than happy to find polliwogs, in the mountain filled streams, knowing if we stayed dry, and behaved, we would score an ice cream on the way home. We passed Hurr’s Dairy on the way up the hill, as the horse driven wagons were returning from their mild deliveries. (Careful where we walked) Yes, the trip back seemed longer but not for me, the baby. I got to ride in the wagon.

  3. Great post. And a thought-provoking title for the post too!

  4. ‘The silver lining certainly has to be the journey’ yes, absolutely and each moment that makes the journey. i realized soon after my daughter was born that ‘Time’, gradually came to the fore, and those moments became more precious. a really well written post, ty, i enjoyed every word.

    • It’s funny how time changes with perspective. My time has a completely different meaning, now. As a parent, everything I do requires a binary choice – I’m either spending time with my son, or I’m not. At least that is how it feels.

      Wow, thank you. I am really happy you enjoyed the post, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your kind words of support and encouragement.

      • you are most welcome, it resonated both as a parent and writer.and yes, time spent with our children is a choice,a bit more of a dilemma for us writers and artists who require time alone to create .luckily my 13 yr old daughter requires as much time alone as i do to create lol!

  5. And yet another well written and thought provoking post. Much appreciated.

  6. I remember when toothpaste was precariously allowed on planes;
    I remember when a trip to the dentist meant a toy Tyrannosaurus rex (now a real one eats my paycheck);
    I remember tomatoes tasted like, well–tomatoes;
    I remember when blog was just a typo.

    Oh, in days of old…

  7. I remember the first time I went across the bay bridge. It was soon after the Lomo Prieta earthquake and as I crossed, I kept thinking it would happen again. But this time, it would all come down. When I reached the other side, it was like, WOOHOO! Better go party because I just cheated death!

    I don’t commute over the bridge, but I have gone over it enough times that the euphoria of making it over to the other side has waned quite a bit. My husband and I did go over the bridge recently and I was intrigued by the old bridge, too. I wondered, how many vehicles traveled over its span versus how much did it cost to build; and where is it going now?

    • I too have wondered how much the old bridge cost (versus trips by cars) and how much over budget the new bridge was. Lucky for me (sarcasm intended), I can track my $6 dollar toll charges over the course of the month since I use fast trak!

      The worst is when there’s a ton of traffic and I allow my imagination to get the better of me. There I am, stuck on a bridge, suspended over earthquake territory, with an imagination fueled by sharknado and nanowrimo. It’s not good. Or…is it?!

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