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.
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.
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.