The Bridge: A Homage

I came home yesterday to raised voices and found my neighbors upset. A small foot bridge had been removed that previously connected a trail along the shoreline and joined my community with the adjacent community. I was not surprised. The riff between the two neighboring developments regarding the bridge had been escalating for longer than I had previously known.

Many loved the bridge--the local children would gather there to watch for the big old snapping turtles that came in through the marsh to lay their eggs. The early morning dog walkers loved the shoreline path and the bridge that extended their accessible area to roam. For many years, neighbors from both developments would band together and replace a board here and there as needed without the expectation of repayment or concern of legal liability. If a big storm loosened the footing on the bridge, it was repaired in a cooperative spirit.

Yet something happened along the way to that unity and sense of place. Pragmatic concerns gradually escalated into division. Who really owned the bridge? Who was responsible for its maintenance? Who was liable for any injury that could occur while crossing the bridge? An "us" or "them" conversation ensued.

Alas, regrettably, no compromise or understanding could be reached between the neighbors and after more than three decades, the bridge was removed and the neighborhoods separated.

I admit I was personally not a fan of the abundant snake population visible from the bridge, however a long snake skin that was shed in that spot is one of my prized possessions.

The sight of that little bridge from my back window reminded me of the bridge in Claude Monet's garden paintings. It was in fact one of the charming features initially attracted my heart to this home.

I will miss it not only for its aesthetic value, but also for the joy it brought others as a keen observation post and representation of our conn