"My mother comes from a place called Masshill [County Sligo, Ireland] in the Ox Mountains, but, unfortunately, her immediate family had all moved away, mostly to England, by the time I was about three or four years old. However, I do remember several of the stories of the house dances that used to be held there and also of the summer's evening dances on the flat bridge over the Black River, just below the house. In later years I got to know some of the musicians who would have been playing at those dances... "
- Kevin Burke, November 2000
This song from by Jack Dodd, from Newfoundland, describes similar memories.
On the Big River bridge on an evening in June
In a reading, this card might be there to remind us of the importance of connections, and not only for the more practical uses of commerce or travel, but also for the fun of coming together. Individuals easily become sour and stale without a bit of socialising, and communities falter without the influx of new blood from their neighbours.
One of my favourite examples of communities using a bridge is the annual meeting on the Wye bridge, which links Chepstow, in Wales, with the communities of Tutshill and Sedbury, in England around New Year. Wassailers from the English side and a Mari Lwyd party from the Welsh side meet mid-bridge for an exchange of cultural celebrations and partying. This link will take you to a video of the event. I've set it to begin at the meeting on the bridge, but the whole video is enjoyable, if you have time.