Welcome to the Bridge!

Many years ago, when I first began homeschooling, I got the idea that I would start a blog. But I’m lazy and I was teaching at the local college while trying to oversee the education of my two small children. A blog didn’t seem to be my highest priority at the time.
    But now, here we are. My daughter has her master’s degree and my son is heading off to college in the fall. I’m still teaching. I am proud that I teach within a homeschool community known as Artios while continuing to teach freshman composition at the local college. 

All photos courtesy of the talented photographers at unsplash.com

All photos courtesy of the talented photographers at unsplash.com

 

Even though the structure is different, the pressure valves still need to be regulated. I worry about my children every time they pull out of our driveway. My husband and I need to rely on each other more. And we both have elderly parents that need our help in a variety of situations.
    This place is strange. It is really as if I am crossing a bridge. And that’s how I came to name this blog. I am ready to share what I’ve learned through the life I’ve been living. I am still in school. But as I head towards that empty nest and all the complications that go along with it, I am scared. I am scared of who I am. I am scared of what I will see. And at times, I feel very alone.

 That moment when you are standing on the bridge can be a very lonely time.

    My mother has always been afraid of bridges. I remember when we were children my brother and I went with our parents on a trip through the Florida Keys. If you’ve never been on the Seven-Mile Bridge, you can guess by its name that it isn’t the best place for someone with a fear of bridges. The most frightening thing about it is that you cannot see the destination. For seven miles, my mother did not speak ... maybe she didn’t breathe. Until we were safely on an island on the other side.
   

While I looked out the window and marveled at the clearest water I had ever seen, my mother kept her eyes straight ahead, praying we would see our destination before the bridge collapsed and we fell into the water.

    Physical bridges amaze me. 

I look out over the water and realize someone put this bridge here so I can get across.
    But of course, if you are driving, you can not stop and just stand on that bridge. So, driver, just keep moving toward the other shore. Let the passengers marvel at the boats and the waters flowing beneath you.

It was those around us that got my mother over that bridge. My dad drove steadily onward, telling us what to look for as we crossed. (He knew that bridge well.) My mother would never have gotten to that bridge without him... and she would NEVER have gone over it without him.
    So while the bridge left us completely vulnerable to the structure of the bridge and the weather of the day, we crossed over it together.
    Is this bridge that moves us from one phase of life into another really that different? Yes. It can be lonely and if we stop and stand there, we are completely vulnerable. But if we remember that there is more for us to do and see after we cross the bridge, then we can realize that this bridge is what frees us. As we come to this bridge where life and school are tied together, we can see that the bridge is part of the experience, not just the thing that moves us from one experience to another.
    We can experience a new trust. We can marvel at the beauty that hides between the shores. We can stop a moment and decide what we are going to do when we cross the bridge.
    If I have learned nothing else from homeschooling all these years, I have learned that we should never STOP learning. Life Is the lesson. It is the schoolroom. And we are not isolated. While we continue to learn from new experiences, we also share what we've observed and noticed. Friends and family help us cross the bridge. We share this experience with them along the way.

    Welcome to the bridge. It is only a small part of the journey. 

 

 

Jaci Whitfield