Monday, April 21, 2014
Love Lock on the Brooklyn Bridge
Many years ago––31 to be exact––I was in New York City on Easter Sunday. My family in Wisconsin were celebrating the holiday with the traditions of my childhood: church, egg hunt, chocolate rabbits, and roast lamb dinner. None of these options were available to me. And yet I didn't want the day to go by without some celebration.
I asked a friend of mine (yes at that point we were just friends) if he wanted to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Lee said, "Sure." So we took the subway to the Brooklyn side and set out.
The distance is a mile. The views are spectacular. The traffic hums beneath those iconic cables. The vibrations feel like the electric charge of the entire city.
I can't recall what we talked about. But I do remember this. The walk felt so important that we agreed to repeat it every Easter for the rest of our lives. This promise was no more impractical than two people coming to New York City to try their luck at art's game of chance.
We neared the Manhattan side. We paused to savor one last moment suspended as we were between river and sky. We turned to smile at each other. Did our smiles inch closer?
A drop of water fell from one of those suspension cables and landed on Lee's head. We laughed and continued on our way. Neither one of us mentioned the moment when we almost kissed.
Until a few months later when we did kiss.
Lee and I have kept that vow––among others. We have walked the bridge every Easter Sunday; sometimes in winter coats, sometimes with friends, eventually carrying our baby daughter.
As we walked this year, I noticed that hundreds of people had fastened padlocks at various points along the bridge. The locks were inscribed with two names and a date. I hope that the Brooklyn Bridge connects all those couples as it has connected Lee and me.