Bridges Over Rivers
I walked on the bridge over the river Don, this structure is quite expansive and spans over the wide valley including the relatively narrow, what seems more like a stream. I got this sudden chill about mid way through. The swift rush of chill had nothing to do with below zero temperatures. I had a flashback of a fellow I knew who threw himself off this very bridge some years ago. He used to visit. He would just come around to the ashram from time to time. He loved prasadam, our very blessed meals. He was rather reserved. He was an active member of the growing vegetarian society in Toronto. He became a big promoter of the non-violent way of life. Unfortunately he couldn’t find it in him to be gentle to himself. God bless him.
Anywhere you stand from this bridge you can see its rather steep or deep fall. Others have taken their life on this bridge. In response, the city decided to run substantial rods vertically along the river’s edge, making it practically impossible in making the bridge an option to life or death. Also, years ago, when I was driving a vehicle in Winnipeg for our mission (yes, I used to drive), I took a bridge over the Assiniboine River. There was a traffic jam, and at that time a native woman was leaning on the bridge’s wall. She was standing there and looked confused. She had flung one leg over, readying herself for a jump. At this time, I was only a few metres away, and I hollered out my window, “Don’t do it – Krishna!” She turned her head my way and flung the leg back. I got my chill and I’m sure she got some sensation too.
Other motorists must have seen the obvious, but they seemed more keen on moving on with the traffic. That is not to say no one cared about a life or death situation. With bumper to bumper traffic and things moving along, it was the last I saw of her, but my last image of her through the rear view mirror was that she began walking along the bridge to get to the street level, thank God.
Bridges are effective channels for travel. They can also be can easy avenue to opt out of life. That’s why I had moments of fear explosions. Personally, I’ve always seen bridges as beautiful through ways providing a panoramic scenery. It’s like the use of a knife, you can use it positively for chopping up veggies or it can be used destructively. The mind is also in the same category, either degrade yourself or elevate yourself. Through guru we have a bridge that takes us to God. Without direction we are forced to trudge through troubled waters.