Build me a bridge

blogIMG_9896When my children were young and sassy teens, they often recited a line to their siblings, whose noses got out of joint over some disagreement, and that saying always caused me to snicker to myself.

Cry me a river, build me a bridge, and get over it.

I laughed because that’s how I felt too. Get over it. There will always be some disparity, some disappointment, some dispute, some deviation from the easy path you wish you had.  But instead of crying your eyes out, you just have to build that bridge over troubled waters, buck up, and get over it.

I have to admit that when the good Lord handed out the quality of being merciful and empathetic, I may have skipped Sunday School that day.

But before you judge me too harshly for that, let me share that often the one I show the least mercy to is…myself. Far too often in life I’ve found myself self-admonishing to stop crying an ever-flowing river, commence bridge building, and get over those grievances that cause me anger and anguish.

But the difficult part about building bridges is this – it takes two sides. A one-sided bridge won’t get you anywhere, unless you fall off the abrupt edge and drop kerplunk into the river below. A real downer if you can’t swim.

And if the other side of the river bank just doesn’t cooperate and reach across the span of the abyss to meet you in the middle, well then, where are you? A bridge to nowhere.

Okay, sometimes I surprise myself with how my quirky mind works when I open my email inbox and find the current weekly photo challenge.  And this week’s theme – bridge – is no different. Bridge building came to my mind.

I didn’t have to search long or hard for a bridge photo in my cache. I have many because I live in an area with lots of bridges over creeks and rivers, several right here in and near my hometown and further down the river in the big city.

So just in case you happen to live where bridges are few and far between, let me bridge the gap for you with my pictures.  I vacillated back and forth while choosing which photo to use for this challenge, so I may share more bridge photos tomorrow on my Wordless Wednesday post.

Bridges. Papa and I crossed a lot of them on our recent vacation, particularly on our journey through New York’s Hudson River Valley, in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and on our way home traveling north of New York City.

On our first day of vacation we stopped along the Hudson River in New York state to see West Point Military Academy and toured its museum to satisfy my former Army man husband and history buff.

Afterwards, we crossed the Mid-Hudson Bridge to locate a spot where we could catch a nice view of the military academy from across the river and I could snap a few photos. By accident, we also found a small, shady, secluded park where we ate a quiet picnic lunch as we had the entire park to ourselves.

Driving back across the bridge again, we traveled northward to Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, which is a 19th century railroad bridge converted into the world’s longest elevated pedestrian park. That’s where I captured the photo above. 

So we not only traversed the Hudson by car, but we also crossed it on foot via that span from Poughkeepsie to Highland, NY, which is 1.28 miles in length one way. We encountered some beautiful views from that bridge and I was able to capture several nice pictures of the river and the vehicle bridge downriver from it.

Back and forth across bridges we journeyed. Easy peasy. Now if we could just transport ourselves over bridges with people as effortlessly as it is to drive or walk over steel and concrete bridges, maybe we could actually make progress.

“Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.” ~ H. Jackson Brown Jr., American author

©2017 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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15 responses

  1. I’ve learned (in the last few years) that I have to build the bridge whether there is someone building from the other side (to ‘meet me in the middle’) or waiting on the other side or not. It’s up to me to span the divide, walk over it, and leave whatever anger, fear or resentment I was feeling behind so I can ‘move on’. It’s a lesson I wish I’d learned earlier in life (and one I’m struggling to teach my husband!) I’ve always had a fear of bridges, especially those over water (the sense that I will fall off if I look over the edge), but I’ve come to realize (both spiritually and in reality) that if I can keep my focus straight ahead, I’ll be fine!

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    • So true, Margo. There’s not always someone willing to meet us in the middle! But for our own well-being, we do have to ‘get over it’ by building the bridge of forgiveness ourselves to let those negative feeling behind. For too long, I thought forgiveness also brought reconciliation, but just because you forgive the one who wronged you doesn’t mean you will always reconcile. Thank you for your wise comment!

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      • I, too, have found that forgiving ‘the other person’ doesn’t always work that way you hoped. What’s more important is forgiving yourself (for reacting / responding / feeling the way you do); only then can you truly move on (and sometimes you just gotta burn those bridges behind you, so you can’t ‘go back’!)

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  2. Wow – that is an amazing photo! I look forward to your upcoming pictures, too. I’d never heard the saying that you shared at the beginning of your post. I’m sure there are many occasions when it’s suitable!

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    • I thought it gave an interesting perspective of that old railroad bridge turned pedestrian walkway. I had to reach over the railing to get that photo and boy, did I hold on tight to my camera, even though I had the strap around my neck which I seldom do!! That saying is kind of snarky, which is why my kids used to banter it back and forth. 😉

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  3. Wow. This was a very good insight. Especially the though of building a bridge takes two sides. I never thought about that one. This thought would help me in my personal life. But there is something that comes to my mind, the word GRACE. Base on what I know, they defined it as something you earn that you did not deserve. So think I would make effort to build that bridge though there is no certainty that others would let me connect it to theirs, in other words grace.

    Would be looking forward to your future insights!

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    • Yep, that’s exactly what grace is, and it’s absolutely needed in building bridges with people if reconciliation is to be made. In some cases, that can’t happen, but grace is still needed for forgiveness even if the other ‘side’ never apologizes or asks for it. Thank you so much for your perceptive comment. I appreciate every reader who gives me feedback. And welcome to Mama’s Empty Nest. Be blessed!

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