She came to the bridge again today. Maybe this time she will cross it, but probably not. After all, she’s been coming to this bridge every day for months now. Why should today be any different? Maybe she will step on the bridge this time. She’s done that before. Maybe she will walk on it a bit, just to that clump of moss, where the shadow from the birch bough falls.
Deep down, she knows she’ll probably never cross the bridge. Perhaps she doesn’t even want to. She must want to, otherwise why would she keep coming? Yes, she wants to cross the bridge, and someday she will. But crossing the bridge isn’t really the point. She keeps coming every day, and sometimes she steps on the bridge. That’s progress, isn’t it? That’s the main thing.
The bridge is long. Much longer than the sort of bridges people normally consider crossing. It’s old, which is why mosses grow on it, and made of wood. It cuts through the trees clinging to the edge of the ravine, spans the big creek. Further on it looks like a hill rises up to meet the bridge but she can’t quite see where the bridge ends. But as she’s already decided, actually crossing the bridge isn’t really the point, as long as she does it some day.
Certainly not today. But she will probably step on the bridge today. She should make sure her shoe laces are properly tied first. The shoes are new, at least new to her. She bought them at a thrift store, and it didn’t look like they’d seen much use. Her laces were tied already, but not with a double knot. So she retied the laces, making sure to end with a square knot, so the bow lay perpendicular to the length of her foot. Then her shoe laces would be much less likely to come untied if she walked on the bridge.
But probably not today. It is cloudy, and looks as though it might rain. There are damp patches on the bridge already. It might be slippery, especially with the moss.
She turns to leave but hesitates. This is why she wore the running shoes in the first place. In case of slippery patches or big splinters or bugs, possibly. Visiting the bridge is enough progress for anyone, but she’s here already, so she may as well walk on the bridge.
She takes three steps on the bridge without it creaking. By now she knows the creaky spots pretty well, at least up until this point. She takes another step, and it creaks. Another step, and it doesn’t creak.
She hasn’t decided what to make of the creaking, though she’s spent a lot of time thinking about it. Is it a complaint? A greeting, of sorts? A warning?
Sparkles of light reflected off the creek below peek up at her through gaps in the boards. She can’t see any more of what lies on the other side of the bridge. It’s still shrouded in shadow and branches. The bridge might curve a bit, actually. The point where she thought the end was might just be a curve where the bridge goes off in an other direction.
It is a very long bridge.
That’s enough for today. She turns around and hurries back to solid ground. On the walk home, she thinks about corners and curvy things. Maybe she will make cinnamon buns.