I had to jet to Portland yesterday and I didn’t realize the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge connecting Maine and New Hampshire was closed. It’s under construction and sometimes it’s open; sometimes it’s closed. I detoured around the U.S.S. Albacore Park and crossed the Piscataqua River Bridge. It was a minor delay and I was soon motoring towards my destination.
Once upon a time, I dated a man who lived Down East. He was a wooden boat builder and lived a quiet life far away from the hustle. He liked to hunt and fish; maybe he had a snowmobile and an ATV. I liked most of his simple life and I loved the part of the world he lived in so I happily drove north from time to time to visit him.
One day when we were talking on the telephone, he told me he didn’t like tourists. I wasn’t surprised; there is an uneasy détente between Maine residents and rusticators during certain seasons of the year. Then he said something that surprised me. He said he wished the Piscataqua River Bridge didn’t exist so tourists couldn’t come to Maine.
I laughed. I didn’t think he was serious.
“I’d want to make sure you were over the bridge first,” he said.
I was flattered.
After a while, we realized it wasn’t going to work out. I wasn’t ready to cross the bridge for good and it was tiresome to drive to the land of lobsters and windjammers every weekend. It’s sad when things don’t work out, but that’s how it goes.
Every time I cross the Piscataqua River Bridge, I think about him and I think “what would I do if this bridge wasn’t here.” I’ve been having that conversation in my head ever since we broke up. In one version of the story, I have a sea kayak and a wet suit and I paddle up the shore to Kittery. The only problem with that scenario is that I can’t take very much stuff with me. No cookbooks, no favorite upholstered chair, and no family photographs.
Then, there’s an overland escape route through Somersworth and the Berwicks. I still can’t bring my upholstered chair, but the cookbooks and the family photographs can ride shotgun in the Jeep.
The best scenario would just be moving home and living on the other side of the bridge forever. I think that’s the best possible plan and it’s going to take some time and effort. I guess I’d better get a move on; there’s a lot to do to cross that bridge.
What bridges in your life are standing between you and your dreams? What would you do if these bridges disappeared?