Don’t cross the bridge till you come to it. Or, don’t trouble yourself with trouble until it troubles you. Bridges are in some way associated with troubles. Not that they cause troubles; they avoid them. Bridges save you from the inconvenience of an unwanted swim and make it easy for you to cross a river, bay or any other body of water without getting wet.
There is something mystical about them. Historical bridges can tell old stories, while their modern cousins showcase state-of-the-art architecture and engineering. This storytelling ability of bridges gives them a certain spiritual power. You would ask either “Wow, when was it built?” or “Wow, how was it constructed, to be able to accommodate all these cars such a long distance?” There is a tale to tell as an answer to each of these questions.
You may dispute this theory by mentioning some ordinary bridges. However, even if they don’t tell an immediate story, they have the potential to do so later. For example, if one day your ordinary bridge disappears after being taken by flood waters—suddenly, the bridge story is born.
Imaginary bridges are built between people, between cultures, or even between our past and our future. Very small bridges are also created by dentists, to replace missing teeth. The element of replacing something missing is important here—missing tooth, missing road (in the air or on water) or missing human connection.
If we summarize all of the above, we can say that bridges are spiritual objects that avoid troubles by replacing something missing, usually connections.
Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver lets you avoid direct contact with the cold water of Burrard Inlet by replacing the missing natural road connection between the City of Vancouver and North and West Vancouver. The story behind this bridge starts with its opening in 1938, when it was officially known as the First Narrows Bridge. According to Wikipedia, its length is 1.5km and the tower height is 111m.
An iconic bridge in San Francisco—Golden Gate Bridge—not only connects the city with Marin County, but also, in a way, with Vancouver, as both bridges look alike. The Lions Gate’s San Francisco cousin started its spiritual journey in 1937. Its length is 2.7km and the steel tower rises 227m above the water.
Both bridges avoid the waters of the Pacific Ocean and create an indisputable parallel between Vancouver and San Francisco in a visual sense.
But don’t cross them before you come to them. Save this experience for the moment of crossing. You will not regret it.
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