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Friday, February 14, 2014

Dreaming of Paris: Valentine's Day and Love

Paris. It may be the City of Light but I daresay more than a few of us would call it the City of Love. As part of Paulita's "Dreaming of Paris," I am remembering our last day in Paris two years ago.
I know there are those who find the practice of hanging a lock on a bridge, then tossing the key into the underlying river, either strange (at best) or at worst, a threat to the water environment (all that dredging -- oh, how I'd love to have some of those rusty keys for my art!). And there is potential damage to the bridge. (Which is one reason by every so often, the locks are removed and the process begins again.) USA Today outlined the challenges in this article.
But for Rick and me, it was a wonderful thing to do on this last day in the City of Love, where holding hands and public displays of affection are commonplace.
It was a gloomy day -- gloomy on many accounts. It was gray. Gray everywhere -- the buildings, the water, the sky. And it was pretty nippy. And raining. And we were also a bit gloomy because we were leaving the next day. Yes, continuing our vacation (fun) but leaving Paris (sad).
So, there on the Pont des Arts, we left a little of ourselves in Paris. With a thick Sharpie, we wrote our initials on our padlock.
Then we tied on a bright blue ribbon -- the blue we weren't seeing in the sky, just our hearts.
We attached it to the bridge and holding hands, tossed the key into the Seine. (I have done far more environmentally worse things than this, I fear.)
I've thought of that lock often since that day. We've been through a lot of sad, a lot of challenges. We have dealt with our share of illness for not only each of us but for others we love. And we are stronger than ever. And I've thought of Paris -- almost every day, because when you have been to Paris, you can't let it go.
I expected our lock to be swept up by the Parisian police during a bridge purging and the key to be dredged up. I wasn't sure when, but the odds are there.
But last July, my friend Jerry sent me this photo.
And in September, this one.
The lock is still there. The ribbon faded, to be sure. But holding tight, just like Rick and me. I am quite sure we shall outlive the lock. But even when it is gone, it will remain there in my heart.

23 comments:

Linda Jo said...

That is SOOOOO awesome!!! My sister lived there in 2001 and 2002 .... I think I have that right. If she was still there, she could check for us! Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Joanne Huffman said...

Very sweet - a great posting for Valentine's Day. They do say that Paris is for lovers.

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Very sweet!

Willow said...

Love this , how wonderful !
Oh I musn't go to Paris , I would get so excited they would certainly lock ME up and throw away the key lol
Happy Valentines Day to you my friend.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

A perfect Valentine's post, Jeanie! How wonderful that you were able to leave a symbol of your love and commitment to each other in Paris -- and know it's still there -- symbolically and in your daily life. Happy Valentine's Day to you both!

gigihawaii said...

I spent 2 weeks in Paris in Nov 1969. David and I were planning to cruise the Seine this October, but had to cancel due to his arthritis. Don't know if we will ever be back. Sad.

Barb said...

Happy Valentine's Day to you and Rick. I remember when you placed the lock.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Such a wonderful story! I was not familiar with the lock and key ritual, but it sounds like a nice one. And how neat that your lock is still there. Happy Valentine's Day to you and Rick! :-)

anno said...

So romantic... a perfect Valentine's Day post! Now, if we could only arrange a February rendezvous in Paris!

Nancy said...

I love this post and all the love it represents...Just perfect for Valentine's Day....I have heard of this tradition and find it so lovely....Happy Valentine's Day...

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

A perfect post for Valentine's day. Love, all locked up..
Beautiful Jeanie!
blessings,
Penny

Janet said...

Happy Valentine's Day to you and Rick. How sweet that your lock is still there and that your friend sends you photos of it.

Bella Rum said...

Very romantic. I hope you guys had a nice Valentine's Day.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

This is just one reason why I love Paris. It is the city of ART and whether in crude ways or refined, the French LIVE for LOVE and LOVE LIFE. You left your heart in Paris my dear! Anita

shoreacres said...

How great to see this again. It reminds me that my great idea isn't going to turn itself into a post. I need to get cracking and get that done. It was so sweet of you to let me use one of these photos (or maybe two - they're so great!) But they're not going to get the wider audience they deserve if I don't get busy!

I know your Valentine's day was wonderful. Now, it's National Go Get Your Chocolate on Sale Day, and I intend to get out there and indulge. If I'm lucky, the store down the road will drop its prices on chocolate covered strawberries again!

Marilyn said...

How romantic! Love that you have seen it still there too. What a good idea to tie the blue ribbon on it. I must remember to do this if I go back for truly once you have been it is always on your mind with the desire to go again to this city of Love and Lights.

Jenny Woolf said...

We crossed that bridge Jeanie when we were in Paris in October. Must have passed your padlock! I expect if the Seine is anything like London, it will keep the key for centuries. It might come to light in 500 years time. An awe inspiring thought!

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Oh Jeanie this post really tugs at my heart! You knew it would I'm sure.
What a beautiful thing to do - there will always been a piece of you and Rick in Paris - what a lovely thought!

All the times I've visited I haven't once walked over that bridge - I certainly will next time and I will have to remember to take my lock with the! I think I'll pop it in my suitcase now LOL!!!!

Hugs
Shane

Arti said...

A lovely Valentine's Post, Jeanie. I remember you sharing with us these locks. What wonderful symbols they are. Trust you'd a wonderful Valentines weekend. On another note, I watched the National Theatre 50th Anniversary on PBS. All excellent vignettes of past productions. Many famous actors. Have you seen it?

Retired English Teacher said...

This is the best Valentine story E.V.E.R.

I loved it!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I love that you guys did this! I of course stopped by this bridge when I was there in November/December and saw several couples doing this. It's such a sweet tradition!! I am glad you have this fun memory to reflect back on!

Esme said...

Happy Belated Valentine's Day. I am going to look for your lock the next time I am in France. I do like your journal. It is lovely.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I LOVE this tradition even though I understand it can and will cause some major problems....It is so very Romantic! I think it's wonderful that you and Rick participated in this very lovely heartfelt happening....!

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