I wish I could say I’m writing this from Venice, but for me, Chipping Sodbury has equivalent charms. As I was looking at a little bridge over the River Frome on my early morning walk, it occurred to me what a wonderful name for a bridge this was. What is it about bridges that makes us want to sigh when we see them? Is it the hypnotic flow of the water rushing past underneath? Or is it the significance of the melding together of two places and the transition that takes place between them?
I’ve always been very drawn to bridges, especially old stone bridges, which must have seen an enormous amount of traffic of all kinds over the centuries. I’m sure it’s because I’m someone who lives in two different places of the world and is always trying to straddle the substantial distance between them. I think also that most of us have some kind of divisions in our lives that split our affiliations and loyalties. It’s human nature – to be a part of a family and move away from it or be divided between a job and a relationship – so many ways we section ourselves, especially as the world has opened up and is full of infinite possibilities.
In this way we all need effective bridges in our lives – something that helps us navigate between two areas over what is often a turbulent, unsettling divide between them. I think if we can all find what can work for us as a bridge and how we can use it to safely navigate across our different realms, we would find these transitions less harrowing and fraught. Whether this bridge is a specific location, activity, person or even state of meditation, we all need a safe divider to help us translate, transform and to be in peace in the different spaces of our lives.