1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.

2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection.

On my recent trip to Paris, we were crossing a bridge to see the Eiffel Tower and I saw locks all along both sides of the bridge. People come to the bridges, write their names, the date or a short message, affix the lock on the bridge and throw the key into the river. The exact origins of this charming ritual are unknown but when you see all the locks crowding together, glittering and shining in the sunshine you can’t help but be touched by outpouring of love.

They started appearing on bridges in Europe in the 2000′s and it has spread all around the world. In some places governments have removed locks so they don’t damage bridges as they did with 5,500 love locks on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy.

On a fountain in Montevideo in Uruguay, a plaque is affixed to the front of the fountain that provides an explanation in both English and Spanish. The English version of the text reads, “The legend of this young fountain tells us that if a lock with the initials of two people in love is placed in it, they will return together to the fountain and their love will be forever locked.

Each and every lock tells the story of two people being in love. Where did they meet? Are they together now? Your mind wants to fill in the blanks and know the stories of each lock and the couple that inspired it’s tale.

This wonderful video shows locks on the Ponte Milvio in Rome.

Our need to connect with others is great and in this quick, digital world where conversations are broken into texts, tweets and posts we need to make sure that we are nurturing the true bonds in our lives just as we do in our virtual world.

What inspires love in you and how do you express it? I’d love to know if you have ever put a lock on a bridge somewhere or seen bridges covered in these symbols of unbreakable love.

Featured image courtesy of rachel_titiriga of Creative Commons.