Cautiously, I walk onto the bridge. It probably hasn’t been used as a functioning bridge in years, as explained by the gaping holes and rotting planks of wood. I began to come here since I was about 10, discovering it on a bike ride driven by boredom. Approximately twenty feet long, seven feet wide, it stands over a canal that runs down through the never-ending farmland and by the golf course. The undergrowth and greenery surrounding it constantly being swept up by the wind, creating a peaceful and comfortable feeling as I sit in reflection. This place has served me well; giving me comfort and tranquility when I needed it most. I’m not sure what I like the most about it. It could be the way the sun reflects on the water when the canal isn’t being affected by drought, or the light through the large, old, oak trees. Maybe it’s the sounds I hear; the hawks flying overhead searching for prey, the crickets’ chirping, or the sound of the wind awakening the vegetation growing around me. And yet, I know exactly why I enjoy spending my time here.
My Dad is the strong oak trees, and nature’s presence surrounding me. He is the peace I feel when the hawks fly overhead, and when the crickets alert me with their chirp. He is the wind, pushing me to exactly where I need to be; but most importantly, he is the sun that reminds me of a new and better day.
It was in my hometown, that I lost my father. The bridge here helps me cope in the peace and serenity of the calm environment. But what it symbolizes to me is the warmth, light, and constant love that is given to everyone in my small town of Tulare, California. It is a community of friendship that I have experiences since I was at a very young age, and is something I will be eternally grateful for.
Some people stay here, and some go with no intention of returning. Whichever I do, the bridge will always stand as a reminder of where I come from, and how far I can go.