I’ve been thinking a lot about bridges. The schisms in this country seem to only get wider. Political storms intensify in parallel with extreme storms that our changing climate generates. Echoes of hopelessness in both instances bounce off canyon walls as the dire and increasingly hopeless conditions show no signs of abatement.
The latest foul suggestion of “liberal genocide” implies the answer to our differences is to kill those who disagree with you. Not a very pro-life sentiment, if you ask me. But you didn’t. And perhaps that is the problem. Still I can’t believe that the vast majority of those on the other side of the opinion world genuinely have a death wish for the rest of us. But the gap spreads. The rift grows. How do we turn the tide?
We desperately need a bridge or two across the raging storm current beneath.
What do I know about bridges?
Their purpose is to aid travel across chasms, canyons, or river channels.
They come in many sizes
and many different designs.
They can be a simple as a fallen log spanning a water-filled gully, or so complex they take years to build.
They can be artistic treasures, offering the best of humankind,
and are often sought by artists or photographers as worthy subjects.
Some draw tourists to unique examples of beauty merged with utility.
Bridges can be found almost anywhere.
They are built with the future in mind, to assist the travel of those who follow the bridge makers.
Sadly, bridges are often targeted for destruction during warfare.
But some are designed with strength enough to withstand unspeakable devastation.
Others succumb to heavy flooding and raging water.
But they can be re-built. Some bridges have been re-built with pride multiple times by different generations. They endure for centuries.
Construction of bridges would be most efficient if started from both sides to meet in the middle. But they can be built from one side alone.
Many chasms are born when a trickle of rainwater starts to flow in a miniscule crack. When the rift is deep enough, travel across it is impossible.
But the stones to build a bridge often come from the same geologic formation on opposite sides, and the planks come from sister trees.
Though the views are mirrored from either side,
a traveler sees the world
differently from the middle of a bridge.
With scant leadership from our Capitol, the healing process may fall to us, the people. We need a few bridges to cross the growing chasms in our political and social landscapes.
Stone by stone.
Pile by pile.
Time’s wasting. Let’s get started.