Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.
A bridge is a structure that transitions from one state to another. Sometimes, you are literally transitioning from one state to another. In other cases, you are transitioning in a more metaphysical or symbolic sense.
In scouting, the bridge is extremely symbolic of a young man’s transition from the Cub Scout program to the Boy Scout program. There is a great deal of work, persistence, and growth involved in traveling down the Cub Scout path. When you reach that bridge to Boy Scouts, it represents a very important milestone that should be celebrated and appreciated.
Yesterday evening, my son crossed that bridge to begin a new chapter in his scouting career. At the same time, I feel as though he also started a new chapter towards achieving his dreams.
Maybe it was the smell of the campfire. Maybe it was the way the easterly wind waved the United States flag in the most poetic fashion. Maybe it was the way the clouds let just the right amount of sunlight through to create an almost surreal landscape.
I suspect it was a combination of all these smaller things together along with the key ingredient, self-awareness. I have been a scout leader for the past four years as my son has progressed along the Cub Scout trail. I have been pulled into the logistical and administrative aspects of being a leader in almost every meeting I have conducted over the years. Last night, I promised myself that I would take my leader hat off and enjoy the significance of the evening with my family.
It is that decision that allowed me to absorb all the elements around me and make it an evening that I will never forget as long as I live. It is without a doubt the proudest moment as a father in the first ten years of my son’s life. He has been adorned with countless tangible awards (patches, pins, badges, and belt loops). However, it is the intangible aspects of his growth over the past four years that has opened my eyes so widely to what can be accomplished when you put your mind to it.
Although he may not fully understand the significance of what he has accomplished at this point in time, it is my hope that he carries these fond memories with him and draws upon their power in the future to carry him towards achieving his wildest dreams.
We all have our bridges to cross. Some are longer. Some are higher. Some are over troubled waters. When we come to that bridge, we need to have the courage to travel across it. We need to realize that it has been put there to lead us where we were meant to go. In my son’s case, his bridge has led him onto the trail of a Boy Scout. It has also inspired his dad to appreciate everything around him and find the extraordinary in the ordinary occurrences of daily life.