My dear friend samimi-extremie has been doing these lovely posts on longing. She and I have been good friends for about 10 years now and I think we share that constant sense of longing.
Driving over the Interstate Bridge is an experience that, for me, brings that sense of longing to the forefront. Portland has many bridges and they all conjure different feelings but this bridge is different. It's special. It's the bridge I crossed countless times to return to college after coming down to Portland to visit family. It's the bridge I crossed to visit my college boyfriend when he spent the summer on Bainbridge Island and I in Portland. Most importantly, it's the bridge I crossed in labor on my way to the hospital before my daughter was born.
Now when the occasion for me to visit Washington arrises the emotions associated with all of those memories come flooding back as I cross the river. It's a feeling of deep melancholy and love. A longing for times past, though I am quite happy with my life as it is now. I fear that when the bridge is replaced the longing will go with it.
To make things worse, for financial reasons they are talking about replacing it with a simple bridge similar to the I205 bridge crossing the Columbia only a few miles away. There is no beauty to the new proposed bridge. It is not the kind of place where memories are formed.