Thursday, May 03, 2012

Over a Bridge, Through a Gate, and a Smile

Stafford Bridge turned 100 years old this year.  It was a quiet passage celebrated with an abundance of graffiti embellishments and a low flowing river beneath.  But as David and I walked across her solid path, I was struck by the echo of present and past.

The river, today, is at a mid to low level.  Last year, during our very wet winter and then the snow-melt of spring, it was much higher.  Winter was so mild this year, it seemed to pass almost unnoticed.

There was a time, a few years ago, when the river overflowed its banks and surrounded these trees and shrubs.  There aren't any houses nearby, just range land and cattle.
A series of gates invited us to walk further onto the surrounding fields.  First one gated fence,

Then another, and finally
The inner-most gate blocking the way to the river's edge.

Later we drove off and eventually came to one of the many roadside crosses that dot the area.  Most are from auto accidents but this one, I think, was related to the irrigation canal.  In summer and fall, in the height of the heat, these canals are an irresistible lure for cooling off.  Sadly, the consequences occasionally ended with the appearance of a cross marking a passage from life into death.
It isn't all unhappy and pensive though.  This friendly farmer was more then willing to share a smile with us as we started to drive away.


Ginny said...

What lovely and peaceful pictures. Too bad about the river, but hopefully the level will be up soon.

Felisol said...

Thanks for guiding us to land unknown.
Rivers are dear to me, as I grew up beside "The North River", and have come to consider it as a living part of the scenery. The mountains are forever, but the river ebbs and flows with the seasons of the year.
I saw crosses along the curvy roads of Crete years ago.
That made us stop and think.
In Norway that is an unfamiliar custom.
I guess there could have been lots and lots of crosses along our roads....

Dawn Elliott said...

I loved the bridge tour you shared and the stories told...our town has also lost young men to raging sad...yet there is still so much beauty, as well.

SandyCarlson said...

Those roadside memorials break my heart. And bridges fill me with hope. Thank you for this really beautiful post.

judie said...

Thanks for letting me walk with you. xo

Diane AZ said...

It still looks like a lovely area, great bridge image, and the roadside cross is so touching. Nice to see the farmer smiling!

rebecca said...

dear annie,
so much beauty in our day to day life. it is wonderful how a camera slows us down and asks us to look more closely, to drink deeply from the cup of life. a perfect postcards from paradise post. join us any sunday, your company is always a blessing.