A bridge enables people to advance, to pass over troubled waters and get to the other side. On a balcony you are hemmed in. You can look out into the distance and imagine what might be, but you cannot get there from the balcony.
When you are young, you often think you want a balcony. You have a romantic vision of being enclosed in an exclusive cozy space protected from the elements. No matter that the balcony is a limited area, offering the same experience day after day. You think you will be content to sit on the balcony and enjoy the world from a distance. You can obtain fresh air from the balcony, but you cannot really get adequate exercise.
Eventually, the stormy weather of life wears the balcony down, and soon cracks and weaknesses appear in the structure. You gaze out at the bridges in the distance and wonder if there is more to life. You become disenchanted. Perhaps you chose the balcony in hasty, youthful ingnorance. Your balcony loses it’s charm and you are filled with desire for more space and an avenue to greater experiences.
If you choose a bridge, your life is open to many roads and a variety of views. The bridge gives you the freedom to expand your travels, even if occasionally you are disconcerted by the direction in which the bridge takes you. When storms come and the bridge is threatened with floods, it does not have the stability to protect you and you must flee to safer harbors. When the storms subside, the bridge is often occupied with other travelers.
The bridge does not confine, but neither can it be confined. Like a muse, the bridge encourages you to spread your wings and fly off to whatever distant realms we dream of discovering. You are grateful to the bridge for letting you wander and feel free, but sometimes in your private thoughts, you wistfully wish the bridge had a firmer foundation.
Perhaps the ideal choice is the porch. A porch has all the advantages of a balcony and the enhancements of a bridge. The porch foundation is stable and strong, and the railings will keep you safe from falls. You can sit on the porch in all kinds of weather and be comfortable.
When you feel the need for exercise, you can simply walk down the stairs to the solid ground and venture away, knowing your reliable porch is there to welcome you home when you tire and need respite. You enjoy the opportunity for a change of scenery, but eventually you are content to spend your days sitting on your soothing and secure porch, enjoying the sunshine and reminiscing about accomplished goals and fulfilled dreams.
Yes, at the end of the day, balconies are attractive, bridges offer excitement, but a porch is the perfect choice for the pursuit of happiness and contentment.
A word of caution, however; even a carefully selected porch needs cherished and consistent maintenance, and loving attention to detail, in order to insure it also will have a long and fulfilling life.