A friend of mine just sent me this picture, and it made me really sad. To me, this feels like a death. It is the last gasp of a drawbridge that is about to be torn down because it has been replaced by a much higher fixed span.
I used to work on the Sisters Creek Bridge in Jacksonville, Florida. I spent many peaceful nights there, gazing at the moon and stars, and listening to the dolphins as they came up for air in the Intracoastal Waterway, on their way to, I’m sure, much more exciting places. I watched ospreys mate and nest and hatch and fledge there. I once saw an albino skunk standing as if in a trance in the middle of the road. I wrote and cried and laughed and dreamed of my future in that special place. Now it’s gone.
I’m sure most people will be thrilled. It means no fear of delay on their way to the beach. It means getting home on time.
But it also means the loss of jobs. And it means something else, too: one less opportunity to stop, for just a moment, to look about you. Gone is that chance to get out of your car for a second and feel the sun on your face. And that, in my opinion, is a reason to mourn.
Good bye, Sisters Creek Bridge. On behalf of 64 years of bridgetenders, thank you for more than we can possibly say.