Saturday, July 16, 2011

Locks of Love

The other day, while walking hand in hand through the Tuileries Garden, David and I come across this sculpture. For a moment, I am not sure I understand it. 

Then, I glance across the lawn, and see what is really a very common sight in Paris parks. I am fully enlightened. The sculpture makes perfect sense.

Public displays of affection abound in the city of love. Couples wrap around each other, completely oblivious to the world around them. They are often deep in conversation, and the lock of their gaze appears to be even stronger than the lock of their embrace. 

I am charmed. Delighted. Inspired. I find myself scanning the park for an empty bench. I wonder if David and I need to experience this aspect of the French culture. "When in Rome...," I think to myself. But alas, we are on our way to meet some friends for lunch. Our cultural experiment will have to wait for another day.

Then, after a wonderful meal, we discover further evidence that romance reigns supreme in the city on the Seine: Bridges peppered with padlocks that proclaim love.

We ask a near-by vendor about the sudden appearance of locks on all the bridges. In all our days in Paris, we had never seen anything like this. We are told that the trend was spontaneously started just a few days prior by an anonymous pair. Their simple gesture strikes a chord, and lovers from around the world are compelled to join in. 

I find myself wishing I could read the story behind each lock. I feel as though I have stumbled upon a million private moments that have culminated in a public display of affection en masse. I cherish the experience, keenly aware of how special it is to love and be loved.

David and I did not add a lock to the collection, though we were both smitten with the idea. Maybe next time...after spending some time locked in each other's arms on a park bench. 

Updated July 20, 2011:

We did it!


  1. Love awesome romantic Paris! Will look for a photo of your and David's lock one day.

  2. In Florence, there's a famous place that people put locks and we saw a couple placing their lock with their family surrounding them. It was quite fun.

  3. We are bringing our lock when we come to visit this fall. Mom and Dad/ 56 years!