The Thread of a Dream

 The Thread of a Dream

It was August of 2000 that my wife Linda our two children, Andrew and Victoria drove to Ontario to visit my oldest son Mark, his wife Lisa and our two grandchildren. The trip wouldn’t have been complete without seeing Niagara Falls. It was our first time visiting the falls and was well worth the adventure. The falls were both fantastic by day and very colorful at night. We stood back in awe of this world wonder!

As with everything that I become interested in, I began to do some research only to have my attention diverted from the falls to the story of how the first bridge was built over Niagara Falls over 150 years ago. You see, to build a bridge over a giant gorge, first you have to get a line over the canyon, from one side to the other. Easier said than done at Niagara Falls.

The engineers couldn't cross the falls in a boat to take the line from one side to the other because the boat would go over the falls. And the airplane hadn't been invented yet. The 800 foot distance across the Niagara Gorge seemed way beyond reach.

The designing engineer, Charles Ellet, pondered the question until he came up with a revolutionary idea. Ellet sponsored a kite flying contest and offered five dollars to the first person who could fly a kite across the gorge. In 1849, five dollars was a prize similar to a small lottery today.

A young American boy named Homan Walsh won the contest on the second day of the competition flying his kite from the Canadian shoreline. The string of his kite was fastened to a tree on the American shoreline and a light cord attached to it pulled across. Next came a heavier cord, then a rope and finally a iron-wire cable and then steel cables until a structure strong enough to build a suspension bridge was in place.

It was August of 2000 that my wife Linda our two children, Andrew and Victoria drove to Ontario to visit my oldest son Mark, his wife Lisa and our two grandchildren. The trip wouldn’t have been complete without seeing Niagara Falls. It was our first time visiting the falls and was well worth the adventure. The falls were both fantastic by day and very colorful at night. We stood back in awe of this world wonder!

As with everything that I become interested in, I began to do some research only to have my attention diverted from the falls to the story of how the first bridge was built over Niagara Falls over 150 years ago. You see, to build a bridge over a giant gorge, first you have to get a line over the canyon, from one side to the other. Easier said than done at Niagara Falls.

The engineers couldn't cross the falls in a boat to take the line from one side to the other because the boat would go over the falls. And the airplane hadn't been invented yet. The 800 foot distance across the Niagara Gorge seemed way beyond reach.

The designing engineer, Charles Ellet, pondered the question until he came up with a revolutionary idea. Ellet sponsored a kite flying contest and offered five dollars to the first person who could fly a kite across the gorge. In 1849, five dollars was a prize similar to a small lottery today.

A young American boy named Homan Walsh won the contest on the second day of the competition flying his kite from the Canadian shoreline. The string of his kite was fastened to a tree on the American shoreline and a light cord attached to it pulled across. Next came a heavier cord, then a rope and finally a iron-wire cable and then steel cables until a structure strong enough to build a suspension bridge was in place.

After I read this intriguing story I sat back for a moment to meditate on a powerful lesson. The bridge began with an idea and one thin kite string. That string can be like a single thought! The more vivid and clear the thought, and the more you come back to it, the stronger it becomes like the string to the rope to a cable. Each time you rethink it, meditate on it, layer it with other thoughts, you are strengthening the structure on which to build your idea, like building a bridge over Niagara Falls. But unlike a kite, there is no string attached to how high and how far your thoughts may take you. We are limited only by the power of your imagination and the strength of you desire.

 

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