crossing small troubles While the waters cover the sea …


overcomes small troubles

lähde: Ronald Steed/

July 31, 2021

overcomes small troubles

tend to be larger –

bridge over Gosen

This moment of haiku, July 31, 2021:

This bridge, painted on site by watercolors by my wife, artist Roxanne Steed, crosses Goshen Bay in Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, Connecticut. As Roxanne painted, I watched the scene with her from a high open field above the bay. As we assembled, small groups of people gathered along the shore below us to film the scene from a distance, where they could watch and not interfere.

In the midday light of this brilliant and mild summer day, light and shadow directed the view of this bridge in the middle of nature. The “z” shape of the bay also attracted a view of the bridge from above and below. The moment of the haiku reminded me of the reason for this bridge in this place; why is there a bridge here at all? Who needs it and for what purposes?

People build bridges to cross hazards that cannot be easily managed, to get to the desired place. In this case, to the hard-to-reach waters and muddy shores of Goshen Bay, to reach the isolated and desired part of the William A Niering natural area on the side of Long Island Sound Park.

During the years of visiting this park, I have never seen anyone on this bridge, and that is a good thing. The bay is full of wild animals. It would be difficult to cross the bay to the reserve on the other side. Someone had to work on that danger to raise this bridge; for laying foundations and laying gratings. The effort was not insignificant.

While the bridge attracted the view of the stage, the dynamics of nature drew attention to other actors. And they didn’t seem to be aware of the problems people were trying to bridge. Bees buzzed around the beetle and corn in the field in the foreground. Dragonflies patrolled the sky, not far above, while seabirds crossed high above the bay, resting on the mud just behind the bridge. Two cubs took care of the bay, announcing their presence. In remote bays I imagine all kinds of life passing around and under a bridge with no problems. The only ones who seem to be worried about this cove seem to be actually people who want to cross it.

I am sure there are great reasons for this bridge, given the efforts to build it. . . a desire that made its construction convincing. A few people have to cross these waters without disturbing other things, so that they can protect the pipes and the smallest terns that nest in the protected dunes on the other side.

Perhaps then the real desire that resulted from this bridge was a propensity for some other trouble, less obvious than shooting in mud and salt water, but far more influential. Perhaps for some, this bridge will help protect an endangered creature in a sensitive habitat that humans would easily destroy if given access. Two increasingly rare members of the natural community, who, if lost, will upset the balance there and elsewhere. While nature may not “see” this trouble as it progresses on this perfect summer day, some people see it; more power for their vision.

The moment of haiku was reminiscent of human efforts to make a small and prominent thing in nature that is rarely used, to protect a small thing that is rarely seen.

Where there is a bridge, there is a human desire for a place that can be reached and a trouble that needs to be overcome. At this point, that desire is to get over a little trouble and strive for a bigger one. Fortunately, people are kept as distant observers of this place from the coast and occasional visitors who have the power to preserve or destroy. The natural community that blooms there, the waters in the bays do not create problems at all, partly thanks to those who help to see it, but people rarely visit them.

Painting by Roxanne Steed

Haiku and Ronald Steed Meditation

Copyright 2021 ©



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