Beyond the Bridge | מעבר הגשר
By Rachel Treisman, MC ‘19
The following piece is about a small bridge connecting the homes of Rachel’s recently divorced parents. Although the trip across the bridge is extremely short, it carries a deep symbolic significance for her. In this liminal space, she comes to terms with the thoughts and emotions she normally suppresses and learns to view this journey across the bridge positively.
In the middle of the road between my mom’s house and my dad’s house lies a small bridge. It’s not long, and if there isn’t a lot of traffic, I can get from one side to the other in twenty seconds. This bridge passes over my town’s river, where people go boating in the summer and where geese fly overhead in the winter. The bridge is small but serves an important purpose; it connects the town’s beach to its stores and schools. Crossing the bridge takes less than a minute, and the rest of the way to my mom or dad’s house only takes a quarter of an hour. Although it’s only a matter of feet, this very short trek across the bridge is important to me. In the meantime, I can listen to music on the radio or sit in silence while thinking to myself.
A year ago — when my parents were still together — I did not have to make this journey. Now I do it every week.When I’m at my mom’s house, I have to cross the bridge daily, but only occasionally do I drive on the bridge to get home — my other home. When I travel through the bridge and on the road that follows it, I’m happy because I feel free. I can open the windows and wear my sunglasses in nice weather or, during the winter, turn on the heat in the car when I want to feel cozy. I can look at the boats floating underneath me and at the people eating ice cream in the shop next to the bridge. I can stop at the gas station on the way and put gas in my car as people drive by. I like blissful moments like these. But sometimes I feel a little sad, wishing my parents would live under the same roof again. Their divorce happened not too long ago, so this is a new reality for me. I don’t enjoy having to drive for several minutes in order to spend time with a loved one. But if I have to do it, I want to drive through all the pretty scenery. Besides, I do love this bridge. It has these large, steel beams, and every year in the wintertime, someone decorates them with colorful lights. At night, it is a lovely sight.
Now, I’m at university night and day. I don’t have a car, and I don’t need to cross the bridge between my parents’ respective houses all the time. But whenever I’m in town, I drive on the bridge covered in lights and on the street littered with green trees. This journey is short, but special to me. The road is not always easy, but at least it looks a little better from the bridge.