Updated: May 12, 2021
Bridges. They take you from one place to another, whether it’s across a river, over a chasm, or more metaphorically, to uncharted territory in your mind that’s outside your comfort zone. I crossed one of those bridges about eight years ago. It’s the moment I picked up a pen… actually, no. It’s when I laid my two hands over the keyboard and began letting my fingers speak my truest thoughts through words. It’s the day I discovered my voice and true passion for writing.
But this isn’t about me. It’s about what I wrote about on that day. The title for one of my first blog posts, Crossing the Bridge, was one of those different kinds of bridges, and it wasn’t me who was crossing it. It was my eleven-year-old son. As a recipient of the Arrow of Light, the highest honor a Cub Scout can receive, he had officially become a Boy Scout. I was one proud dad to see him cross what turned out to be both a literal and metaphorical bridge as part of his ceremony.
Fast forward seven years. On the cusp of a lifelong achievement, we were reminded of his very first day of Scouting as a seven-year-old Tiger Scout. He heard about what it means to become an Eagle Scout and he vowed, on that day, that he’d be one someday.
Seven years. Forty-one merit badges. Six rank advancements. Countless campouts, leadership positions, skills development, and enriching life experiences. That had led my son to the final step on his youth journey as a Boy Scout. The Eagle Board of Review. As a proud dad, I feel obliged to share that after his one-hour discussion with members of the review board, he was honored to hear that his interview was in the top five of over two-hundred conducted to date.
As parents, we never forced him to pursue this goal. It was always something that he drove himself to do, even after taking a year away from Scouting to hike the Appalachian Trail with his mom. As he so eloquently stated, he’s been a Scout for longer than he hasn’t been one.
And now, after being recommended for the rank of Eagle Scout, he will carry that monumental achievement forward with him for the rest of his life.
Bridges. They definitely have the power to take us to new and exhilarating places, if only we choose to take the first step in crossing them.
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