Crossing the Chatham Bridge on your Journey of Life
by Lisa Wyllie, Miramichi
I remember as a young child driving with my parents through Chatham and seeing the bridge. It looked so high, so scary and I was always afraid to cross it. Yet when we did, I would look down at the river with a feeling of both exhilaration and terror, intense emotions that would fade as we reached the other side. I would be left wondering why, in the beginning it seemed so scary.
When I moved to Miramichi last year and saw the bridge for the first time in many years, those memories came back to me. Over the past year, I have crossed that bridge on a regular basis and each time as I do, the memories of crossing that bridge as a child are still with me. It gives me cause to reflect on how this daunting bridge is a metaphor for life. I came to Miramichi with hope, with my family, to start a new life. I was very much in my comfort zone, not wanting to cross the bridges in my life. This past October, however, I was brought to the front of a very large and ominous bridge when my marriage ended. I could have refused to cross it, could have stayed nestled on my own island of security. Yet that would leave me stagnant in my life. I knew I didn’t want a life that didn’t cross the rivers of my soul.
Life is full of bridges and some people choose to never cross them, never experience the exhilaration and terror, staying in their niche, feeling “safe”. We have to cross bridges to learn, to experience life. Now, I have a new bridge looming before me in my life and yes those feelings are there. I know I will be whole on the other side no matter where this bridge takes me. I’m anticipating this traverse with everything inside of me, wondering and hopeful about the growth and happiness I may find on the other side.
The next time as you cross the Chatham bridge, take the time to think about your life and where you are going. Are you crossing it mindlessly or are you embracing the feelings invoked? Cross your bridge, take the chance; maybe there will be something you never expected on the other side.