The view from our hotel window in Ronda (southern Spain) provided a breathtaking scene of what a bridge can do. This “Puente Nuevo” (New Bridge) replaced the “Puente Viejo” (old bridge), or Moorish bridge, originally built in 1616. Construction of the new bridge under the direction of José Martin de Aldehuela took 42 years from 1751-1793. Its story illustrates the importance of a bridge’s foundation, because the old bridge collapsed in 1740, causing the death of 50 people. The lesson to me is this: If I want to be a reliable bridge, I’d better be well anchored on both sides. For example, since I attempt to integrate the fields of psychology and theology, I need to stay current with each field beyond the foundations laid with academic degrees in each.
The gorge itself pictures what happens to many marriages over time. Maybe it’s from erosion from the top down; maybe it’s caused by underground rivers that allow softer material to cave in. Either way, the rift deepens and widens until it’s impossible to get from one side of the city to the other. Sometimes husbands and wives seem to be separated by such a gorge that “oneness” seems impossible to achieve. Then a bridge is required and that requires time, money, planning and effort. But the result can be beautiful and well as functionally unifying.
An interesting criticism of this bridge is that it is built so much like a wall that it can obstruct the flow of water at the bottom of the Tajo Gorge. Parallel: Counselors need to be careful not to get in the way of the client’s “flow.” Motto: be strong, but don’t get in the way of progress.
As I was surfing around the net, I ran across a blog that specializes in pictures and stories of bridges around the world and through the centuries. It’s worth a visit I think.