8 AM// Another Letter to the Red Covered Bridge

Letters

Dear Bridge (& by extension, Valley Green),

I’m not really sure when I’ll see you next– throughout 2018, I’ve had the privilege of coming back here countless times for weddings and races and high fives and hugs.  

But as for 2019, on verra.  

We shall see.

2019 looks to be like “one of those years”–

meaning lots of change, lots of movement, lots of unsuredness.  

It’s kind of funny though because no matter where I’ll end up, I always imagine this as the one mile marker– the final stretch– in any situation I encounter.  

The last mile of a race, the last hoorah of a semester, the last few feet until my doorstep.  

All of those moments, I find myself chanting–

“Turn into the curve. Pick up your feet.  Move your arms. Breathe. One more mile. One more mile. One more freaking mile.”

Find my eyes straining, looking for the blip of red signalling almost there, almost done.

***

Six months ago, I left another letter here in a golden envelope thinking it would probably get washed away by the creek.  That I would leave it here and nothing would come of it.

As you can see, that letter has gone 360 degrees–evolving into a place for others to gather, to reflect, to write, to connect.  It has led to meeting wonderful people and hearing and reading others’ stories and more deeply understanding how people are so inextricably bound to one another.

But maybe The Bridge has been that kind of a place– a place connectedness– all along.

For me, this idea of connectedness has followed me into grad school where I’ve had the privilege of steeping my thoughts in theories about place and people and community and vulnerability and belonging and then see it play out– IRL. In real freaking life.

It has also given me the privilege of literally (and metaphorically) holding other people’s stories about places and communities and belonging in my very own hands. I don’t think I’ve read a single letter without laughing or crying — or sometimes both– in wonder and astonishment at how people are just so fundamentally human. In the best possible of ways.

Not sure if it’s the rush of endorphins or the sentimentality of nostalgia or the fact I’m about to hop on a plane–yet again–and won’t see this place for who-knows-how-long-time– but

WOW.

I am in total and complete and utter awe of how this place can bring people together in the most special and strange and spectacular of ways.

WOW WOW WOW.

In any case, I have one more mile til I’m done with today’s rainy run. Leaving this letter here in the meantime to say “THANK YOU, Y’ALL!” for reminding me that no matter where we might go in this big crazy world, there are places like this that keep drawing us back, keep drawing us home while reminding us that no matter how hard or difficult something may be, we’ll always have enough guts to get through one last mile–

one more mile one more mile one more mile.

Here’s to kicking some serious butt in the last mile of all of our projects, work, relationships, lives, and places.

Bonne année!

❤ Kat

12 PM//Cabrini Walking Bridge

Letters

There are more elaborate, more poetic, more profound ways of putting all of this but right now, I just want to write everything IN ALL CAPS:

BECAUSE I AM HOME AND GET TO EAT FLAKY PASTRIES AND HUG MY FRIENDS AND DRINK MIMOSAS ON PLAYGROUNDS AND PLAY SHARKS AND MINNOWS WITH HUNDREDS OF TINY HUMANS AND SIT NEXT TO THE BAYOU AND JUMP OUT FROM BEHIND DOORS AND SHRIEK WITH DELIGHT AT SEEING ALL OF THESE PEOPLE WHOM I HAVE MISSED SO SO MUCH AND Y’ALL!! I AM HOME.  

Weird happy hand dances 4 dayz.

7 AM CT// Audubon Park Oak Tree

Letters

WHERE: Live Oak Tree on the Edge of the Lake/Golf Course, Audubon Park

WHEN: 7-something AM, Central Time

Dear Audubon,

Let me tell you a story–

the very first time I spotted you, I was 20 years-old and riding the streetcar from one end of St. Charles to the other.  I saw an arcing entrance, palm trees, a massing of Spanish moss, and legit sprinted off the streetcar shrieking,

“YOU GUYS, THIS IS THE PARK!”