It looks like nothing. Certainly not that impressive. Just a black chain link fence, it may be 100 yards long, about eight feet tall. It stretches from one end of the parking lot to another.
To some, it’s everything.
I live in a college town. Up on the north side of town they cleared a few acres of trees, smashed down some hills, filled up some valleys and flattened out the high spots to have an airport. The fence is there to keep airplanes inside and people outside, I guess.
Years ago, my wife and I went to Paris. There are a lot of bridges there. We rolled over them, back and forth, crossing the River Seine. We were tourists, doing touristy things, like crossing bridges.
One bridge in particular had wire mesh on the sides. It looked like a chain link fence to me. When I looked at the wire mesh, all I could see were locks. They covered every square inch.
Not just a few, not just a hundred or so, but thousands of locks, maybe even millions of locks.
The tour guide told us how two lovers put a lock on the rail, snap it shut. Then they throw the keys into the river. They were love locked together. A forever thing.
Parisians love a good love story. One lock, two locks, three locks and more.
So, there’s this fence in Oxford, MS. It overlooks the airport. You can see for miles. A lot of people fall in love in a college town. They park above the airport, next to the fence and talk love to one another.
One of those lovers, my guess is, saw that bridge full of locks on that bridge in Paris. He wanted to impress his girl.
He bought a lock, told his girlfriend he loved her. Maybe even promised to take her to a bridge in France. Then he locked their love to a fence in Oxford. Romance in Mississippi!
No, there’s not as many as on the bridge in Paris. Oxford’s a small town.
There are good locks, better locks and best locks. There are some expensive brass locks hanging on that fence. Mostly, I saw the kind of lock you can buy at your local hardware store.
There’s also those cheap combination locks. Like those we had in high school. Maybe they speak for themselves. Locks come in different colors. Red locks, green locks, black locks, purple locks. I saw a couple of pink locks hanging on the fence.
Some are just little brass locks, maybe showing a little love. There are a few massive, heavy duty locks, strong enough to prevent a heart break.
A fence full of locks. A chain fence wall of love, hopes, promises and dreams. An overlook, where airplanes fly in from somewhere, then take off, heading into the sky, flying towards unseen destinations.
It’s a lot more than just a chain link fence. There’s nothing like it.
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