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Two bridges on the Camino. In life. A tall modern bridge above. An ancient Roman bridge below.
New life. Old memories. You can’t have one and not have the other



by Catherine Petit
Photos: C. Petit

Bridges can mean different things to different people. It could be a dental bridge, a way to cross a river or a road, or a brace for a cue stick.

A bridge could also signify a change in one’s life.  Moving on to a new city, or the beginning of a new life, or moving on in one’s life without someone.  A step between what was and what is to be.

One of my bridges was an actual bridge in Spain.  I was on the Camino with a wonderful group of people. In the distance, I could see this very tall, modern long bridge ahead of us, leading us to our stop for the evening.

I was on the Camino with a wonderful group

Richard, our guide and friend, directed our sight to far below the modern bridge to another bridge that was spanning the river. It was an ancient Roman bridge.

The very old under the very new.  The newer bridge did not destroy the older bridge but left it as a reminder of the past.  Building new does not mean destroying the past.  Building new builds upon the past.  A foundation for a new beginning.  Always remembering the best from the past to go forward.

As we approached the newer bridge and began to cross it, the Roman bridge disappeared from sight.  I knew it was still there, I just could not see it anymore.

You might not be able to pick me out but that’s me, standing on the green grass far below

Walking on the new bridge, I decided to go to the edge and look down to see the river far below.  To my pleasant surprise, I found many sights to behold and ponder.

Below me was the old Roman bridge.  A past life.  The river alive with movement and memories.  And to my surprise, my shadow was down there also.  I was on the new bridge and far below near to the old bridge I was also standing.

I was at the beginning of a new life, looking back to see where I had been, also looking forward to the future wondering what might be.