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The Bridge Between
This essay describes a bridge, which although real, it is more of a metaphor about life.
[474 words]
E. M. Conary
I have returned to college after serving twenty years in the U.S. Navy. I enjoy writing fictional prose and poetry in my spare time, as well as reading many different types of literature.
As part of one of my classes, Advanced Composition, we had an assignment to try and publish a sample of our writing. This is my first venture into publication, though I hope to continue to write and possibly publish again in the future.
Thank you for your consideration.
[July 2001]
The Bridge Between
E. M. Conary

     Cold. One half lays resting in darkness, the other flourishing in the light. Warmth. Existing as the juncture between here and there, connecting the fabric of before and after. Its base, still strong and secure, supports the rough-hewn timbers above. It waits for the passage of time to bring a new traveler across its battered boards.
     More than wood and nails and paint, more than structure and form, it is a bridge of comfort, for thought and peacefulness. It stretches across a deep, dark ditch, and an abyss otherwise far too difficult to cross. It has become a welcome sight, far back behind my home, dividing developed land from rough country. I see wild creatures pass behind it into the woods, making their way through the wilderness.
     Slowly, like the incremental movement of still-framed pictures, I tread softly, one step at a time. I walk a solitary path, alone in my world. On my bridge I can confront my problems. Choices I make on my place of strength guide me on my journey. Spanning the mortal realm, home to fascination and possibilities, it provides me a clear path to travel.
     In its center there stands one small chair upon which I pause to sit. Should I continue and cross over, or should I take the time to enjoy the peaceful world around me? From that midpoint between reflection and reaction, I can see the beauty around me as I rest and wait. I see my home to one side, across smooth green lawns. I see the fields and trees to the other side, full of mystery and promise. Which way should I go? Maybe today I will just sit and watch and learn. I will think of all the possibilities, and when I have rested, I will go back.
     Through the years, its colorful coat has paled and the planks have been worn smooth. Once new and painted a brilliant blue like a gilded aristocrat, the bridge still stands in its faded glory, proud and firm. It upholds all its burdens well, welcomes the next traveler to cross over, giving meaning to its existence.
     This is my bridge. It provides a connection between mind and body. Beneath the pain, anchored in stone, I feel the strength of my stalwart companion. I can walk across it to see a different place, or I can stop and contemplate a moment in time.
     My bridge between is a place of spirituality and reality. It is not just a collection of wood; it is a part of me. It connects my spirit with the concrete world. Contemplating decisions, I stand upon its sturdy beams, ready to take another step in my journey through life. Times will change, but I will always have my bridge, for it exists as much in my heart as it does in the world.


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© 2001 E. M. Conary
July 2001

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