There is a rusty wooden bridge that yawns its way over a creek on the way to Holden’s preschool. I love this bridge. Even though it’s only about three years old, it looks as though it’s been there forever. We ride our bikes over it, push strollers across it, and in the throes of New Year’s Resolutions time, we run over it (but don’t worry, that only lasts until about this time of year).

When I look up and see this bridge, I have to tell you that my heart skips a beat in anticipation of the shift in sound underneath my feet or bike tires. It’s an old-fashioned sound, one that reminds me of lazy summer days and grasshoppers jumping around through the hot grass with that loud clacking noise they make. You know the one. Just remember back when you were seven and had the whole summer to be barefoot and dirty, and the next best sound in the world was the ice cream truck coming through your neighborhood at dinnertime.

But back to this gem of a bridge.

This is a pausing bridge. A throw-rocks-through-the-railings-into-the-water bridge. A stand-there-for-hours-and-watch-the-ripples bridge. A look-for-fish bridge.

It connects our neighborhood to our downtown area. It’s not only the way we go to Holden’s school, but our path to the library and rec center, and a shortcut to friends’ houses and the splash park. It’s a spot to stop and look toward the mountains and, if you’re lucky and it’s early in the morning, you can spy a hot air balloon or two.

But if you look up too long, your preschooler might scoot away. Not that that happened to me this morning. Well, maybe it did. Perhaps.