BRIDGES Part One


BRIDGES
FROM THE GOLDEN GATE TO THE SEVEN MILE
Photo By Alan Schein NYC
After flying on a “red eye” flight from California to Florida and arriving in Fort Lauderdale at 7:30 in the morning, it’s no surprise that my mind was bleary, weary and wrestling with those nasty little critters of post travel melancholy that seemed to be dancing the jig all over my exhausted brain, body and emotions.

I am compelled to interject a testimonial here. We flew on JetBlue, in the midst of their unfortunate debacle in New York. Our flight from California to Florida was non-stop and direct. It was superb. They treated everyone on board as though they were traveling in first class! The leg room was extraordinary (and this is coming from very tall Museologists). Each traveler had her/his very own Direct TV with a screensaver that read, “Without you, we’d just be flying a bunch of TV’s around the country.” and headphones at NO EXTRA CHARGE. The snacks were high end. The beverages endless. Warm blankets and soft pillows PLUS complimentary Bliss Spa pouches called “buhbye, red-eye…hello, shut-eye” which included a blackout eye mask, ear plugs, breath freshening lip balm, mints and maximum lemon-sage moisture cream for a “smooth landing”. Got to love an airline that serves comfort and has a sense of humor! No, I don’t work for JetBlue. But, from now on, I will fly them as often as possible!

It was a beautiful fresh morning in South Florida. The kind of day you want to put the lid down on your dream car and turn the stereo to a favorite soothing tune as you motor along the Turnpike; knowing that soon you will leave the mainland portion of Florida and cross the first bridge that connects a series of small coral islands known as “The Keys”. We will travel about 126 miles to our destination…the Southernmost Point in the continental United States…Key West.

This ride is the perfect metaphor for transition as most of these miles can only be driven at about 45-50 miles per hour as you cross over bridge after bridge; a veritable snail’s pace compared to the exotic car, bumper-to-bumper, road-rage ravaged Highway 101 leading in and out of San Francisco. Our hearts fill with compassion for these tenacious warrior commuters of North Marin and beyond. We used to travel among them. My fellow Muse chuckles at the thought saying, “I miss the old days…I’m happily ashamed to admit that I was a road rage carrier!” But we were among the small percentage of lucky ones; with a total daily commute time of just over two hours. Some courageous souls commute more than four hours every day. That’s twenty hours a week. 80 hours a month. 960 hours annually! 5.714 weeks of their life every year!!

As we rhythmically bump along the perfectly timed seams of the two lane road leading South from Homestead, we begin to feel the frenetic pace of the mesmerizing Bay Area slowly seep away and adjust to the soothing lullaby of approaching tropical warmth, azure sky and the milky turquoise water gently lapping against new gigantic cast-in-place concrete structural supports being installed for a new bridge just north of the funky and fun resort called Gilbert’s.

The Overseas Highway is in the process of morphing into a safer (hopefully) expanse of modern asphalt. Expect construction delays. They are inevitable. Currently, 42 bridges (18.8 miles worth) connect more than 100 small islands over the spectacular, fickle and sometimes challenging conditions of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. That’s 15% of the total travel time!


Bridges are the arteries that keep places alive. They connect our transitions. Gene Roddenberry understood the power of Bridges…his Starship Enterprise “transporter” was the bridge of our future; connecting all points in our universe as well as our perception of time itself. Today we use steel, concrete, massively complex cables and machinery to build our bridges. Tomorrow we will use energy. These are among the myriad of thoughts that float through this muse mind as we approach the historic Seven Mile Bridge just south of Marathon at Mile Marker 53.

With the first stirrings of “There’s No Place Like Home” euphoria; I realize I’ve just taken in a massively deep breath and LET IT GO. Purposefully, I blow it out my pucker-lipped mouth in order to direct the hot air of tension and tiredness into the vast expanse that spans the entire aquamarine horizon before me. LET IT GO. JUST LET IT GO. It feels bone-deep good to almost be home.

1 comment:

Pattie Mosca said...

Royce...
THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME!
And I for one am so extremely happy to have you back that I am just smiling with delight...especially having re-connected!! I am blessed to have you in my life!