One of my earliest memories is of my Grandpa reading me the story of Three Billy Goats Gruff. They needed to cross a river to get to the green grass on the other side. Of course, the mean troll played a small part in the story, but what about the bridge? If there hadn’t been a bridge, there would have been no story. And, those poor little goats would have gone hungry.
A bridge is a structure built to span a physical obstacle (such as a body of water, valley, road, or rail) without blocking the way underneath. I always asked Pap what kind of bridge did the goats cross? Was it a beam, arch, truss, or suspension bridge?
A beam bridge is the weakest of all bridges and might not be strong enough to hold three goats. A truss bridge is the strongest. A suspension bridge is the most expensive to build. An arch bridge can hold the most weight.
I have always had a thing for bridges. The word bridge means so much. The bridge itself, can be actual or abstract. Bridges are a way to overcome obstacles. Bridges represent transitions.
To cross a bridge, a river or a border is to leave behind the familiar, personal and comfortable and enter the unknown, a different and strange world where, faced with another reality, we may well find ourselves bereft of home and identity. —Jean-Pierre Vernant