Water Under the Bridge by Crystal Tingle
02/28/2017 07:17PM ● Published by Crystal Tingle
Recently, I woke up one morning and went about my normal first-things-first priority, the coffee pot! I’m usually scurrying about working on other stuff while it brews but this one morning, I just stood there watching it. Not sure why, but regardless, I watched it. That’s when the thought came… “water under the bridge.” Maybe it was the flow of my coffee brewing that caused this familiar idiom to surface. Or maybe it was recent life events that perpetuated a theory that my heart and mind were trying to birth. A Theory of Yesterday. Yesterdays can hold amazing memories. Fun time spent with loved ones. A job well done at work. A successful day of eating right. But they can also be full of regrets. Things you wish you hadn’t done or eaten. Words you wish you could take back. The rewards AND the regrets of Yesterday. But it could also be the Theory of Tomorrow. A new day! A fresh start! A second chance! Either way, it’s interesting to me to think about the span of time between yesterday and tomorrow. Somehow, when you aren’t quite ready to leave one to get to the other or maybe can’t get to the other fast enough, time and space in those moments are imponderable, and the lines between the two seem nonexistent. It’s as if they just flow into one another with only the bridge of night separating them. The old turned dark and previous hours are gone but only realized when we wake in the morning to welcome tomorrow.
Yet when we use the phrase “water under the bridge,” we use it as a line definer. A divider between the then and now. We use it to say that we have let go of something…choosing to forget that which cannot be changed and shouldn’t matter any longer. It’s somehow something we are leaving behind “on the other side of the bridge.” An argument you had with someone a long time ago, and a friend inquires about it. You say, “Awww, that’s water under the bridge.” But the thing is, it’s not that simple to leave it behind…completely, I mean, just by entering “tomorrow.” Living On the Coast, we are surrounded by water and bridges. Our gorgeous emerald green waters flow. As the tide rises and falls, our water flows…it flows under our bridges into the bay and nearby inlets and bayous and flows back out. Flowing water sustains and is full of life.
And as I thought on all of this, I realized that just as water flows under our bridges, and in our case, often mixing salt and fresh, our lives are much the same. Simply passing under a bridge doesn’t make the water go away so new can be added. The same water WILL come out on the other side. And yet somehow we use the bridge as a symbolism of forgetting what is in yesterday. As much as we would like to identify new days and second chances in the tomorrow while leaving yesterday behind, it’s in the yesterday that we grow stronger in our tomorrow. It’s in this mixing or brackish state that we find life. The experiences and the journey of the day traveled before sets the course for the day that lies ahead. It’s in this brackish of the good and the bad, the old and the new that we are fortified. It’s in this place that we learn to navigate a new and better tomorrow when we choose to see the bridge between the two as not a place to forget but rather something to go through. We realize hopefully what to do differently or even what to do the same from what we have learned. I love this quote that I just recently heard and it was so fitting I had to include it:
“Whether you are sixteen or sixty, the rest of your life is ahead of you. You cannot change one moment of your past, but you can change your whole future. Now is your time.” -Matthew Kelly
Water under the bridge has new meaning for me moving forward. I no longer see the bridge as the place of forgetfulness; it has become the NOW. I choose in the NOW between yesterday and tomorrow to accept and flow with the regrets of life in my yesterday. And as a result, it is in this new place that my whole future will change, with a new hope and determination, when I wake in my tomorrow. May you find this a sweet revelation as well and may your dreams in the NOW be sweet and your tomorrow even sweeter!