I stand on a bridge. It is perilous, rickety. Miles below stretches an abyss. Behind me is the Land of the Past (marriage, teaching, this home, this village). Ahead lies the Land of the Future (untold possibilities, new home, new surroundings). The bridge itself I imagine to look like Devil’s Bridge near Aberystwyth. I could tumble off and plummet down into beauty – and death. I could walk peacefully over to the other side, and risk nothing. Or, I could walk down the precipitous path myself, chance the abyss, run my hands through the cold fresh water, be part of the true wonders of nature – and still know that my path over the bridge is securely decided once I climb back up again.
The bridge on which I am stuck represents the inevitable frustrations and delays so many of us face before a move. I cannot go forward. I cannot retreat. But the abyss is not a symbol of evil, though many take it that way. It has its own enchantments. It is a place of learning, of healing, of severing the ropes which hold us all back. It is a time for contemplation, for cleansing, for renewal of vital strength.
The bridge is, as so many are at some level, a Bridge of Loss – for passing into a new country means loosening some bonds, letting others go altogether; it means mourning for that which is gone, recalling the lovely moments, feeling intense sorrow and yearning. It is a psychic winnowing – and only the toughest connections will survive.
But it is joy and excitement too: Going into a new phase IS an adventure! Its potential is vast, its unknown nature alluring.
This all fits in brilliantly with the rising Samhain energy – and, although I will not be crossing that bridge physically on Samhain, it could well happen soon thereafter. And I will, most certainly, be enacting some form of the ancient ritual on Monday night. After all, a part of us has to die in order to move on. The Death card symbolises both death and change. Gwyn ap Nudd and the Wild Hunt, Cwn Annwn baying loudly, will be busy that night, as they always are – and I, in ritual, will ride with them, over the bridge to the Underworld, Otherworld, Annwn.
I stand on a bridge. I have made my choice…