Bridge to Nowhere

Each of my years in college, some friends and I completed a hike in the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California. I looked forward to the trip each year, and miss it more than most of the other things about my life in SoCal. I left that behind a few years ago now, but I might even be willing to drive back down there again for another shot at the hike. The scenery is beautiful, there’s some variety in elevation without an overly strenuous workout, and five miles in, you find an odd sight — a Bridge to Nowhere.

The bridge is a popular spot for bungee jumping, and is the turnaround point for the hike. It’s rather remarkable, though, to come up to this bridge that heads straight for a mountainside. Once upon a time there was a path that continued through, but now, there is just a large pile of loose rock covering all but the slightest hint of a path. Each time that we arrived, I reflected on this bridge and the path that it carried on towards no place in particular. I would cross over and sit on the rocks, watching friends and strangers bungee jump and congratulating myself on having sense enough to not try something so ridiculous.Photo by Hallie S.

Since there isn’t much activity happening in my life right now, I feel like I’m standing on a bridge to nowhere here in my “real life.” I have no immediate plans or goals, hopes or dreams, just vague ambitions of figuring those things out. I count my blessings and know that this is a good place for me to be, but when I try to stare at what’s ahead of me, all I see if this large pile of rock obstructing my view of the path I’m going to take. I could jump off the bridge and see what it feels like to fly, but right now, I’m just watching other people take their leaps.

Which is best: to sit and lay in wait, to push the mountain aside and trek onward for a path, or to jump off the bridge and trust that things will be okay?