Solving puzzles

Yesterday morning, I sat at the counter with a cup of coffee, putting in the last few pieces of a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, I had an ah-ha moment: Putting together this jigsaw puzzle has been much like growing the Bridges Together organization. Both began with creating a frame. For BT, it was the vision of creating a center of excellence for intergenerational programming. There are many pieces to both – and sometimes I wonder where each piece fits, where each person fits.   I wonder how something will come to be – the bike in the corner of the puzzle or the intergenerational program in a specific community. I put in time – and there is a bike, there is a program – and the beauty that results in pure joy!

Selfie of Andrea and Sue Jacobs

Last week, my heart was so warmed to have Sue Jacobs attend a Bootcamp. It was Sue who asked me in the early 2000s to package Bridges in a way that she could run it in her community of Dalton, Massachusetts – more than two hours away from my hometown. She was the one who coordinated my first Bridges training. She’s still involved in the program more than a dozen years later. Who knew then that Sue would be one of the first pieces of a puzzle that would become Bridges Together Inc.?

Bonnie Johnson of WICN, jazz radio, attended a different Bootcamp along with Kelsey, an AmeriCorps volunteer doing intergenerational work. Bonnie later invited me to a live jazz concert– and, unbeknownst to me, she’d also invited Kelsey. Imagine my surprise when Kelsey came in the studio and sat down behind me. During intermission, we began talking about the best way to recruit volunteers for a local intergenerational program. Who could have imagined the connections that were made at the Bootcamp – or at the concert? Each time we bring like-minded people together, there are sure to be ripple effects of love, joy, and companionship.

It’s so awesome to have the privilege to see how the many pieces fit together to create a beautiful, integrated picture – in a puzzle and in our intergenerational communities!

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