I pass under a little bridge on my way to and from work nearly every day. It’s a strange little bridge, a product of quirky neighborhood planning, but loved for it’s quaintness. I know it is loved because it got old and they took great care to tear it down then rebuild it in grand style. It took a long time to re-build that little bridge, way longer that I would have expected, but as I made my daily drive past the project I realized how much I enjoyed watching the progress unfold. Tractors and workers, great steel beams, concrete pouring and more concrete and finally landscapers and plants, stone masonry and sprinklers. Truck and cars obstructed the road, men with signs stopped and started the traffic. I could have found an alternate route but most days I didn’t, preferring to cruise by and crane my neck at the work being done.
The bridge is done now and the workers and trucks are gone. I had wished they would speed it up, now I miss the hubbub of activity. A bridge is a thing of beauty, like an old train, a metaphor for strength and usefulness. What is unseen in the wake of the finished little bridge, is the proud souls of those who’s sweat and toil have left in their wake, a thing of lasting beauty.
There is a metaphor in that little bridge, a message about how to live. Take care to create something of lasting beauty. Do it for the community and leave it there for others to have and use and admire. Build something, and be industrious. Even if you fail, the thing you have really built is your own self reliance, confidence, the engines of productivity and pride in having achieved something. Most of all, in the wake of it we are left with the objective proof that, by your industrious endeavors, humankind is truly capable of magic.