We drive from our hotel and soon leave the Port of Nice behind us as we head along the D6098 to the Boulevard Princess Grace de Monaco, then along Avenue Albert 1 er, and finally to the Promenade de Marinieres.

At the end of the journey we will be at the little hideaway fishing port of Villefranche-sur-Mer. I complete the last part of my journey on foot.

The hills surrounding me climb from sea level at the bay to a lofty altitude of about 520 m (1750 ft.). At sea level I can see beautiful beaches that are perfect for sun-loving during the day and romantic strolls in the evening.


Tiny hotels, wearing warm shades of yellow and rust, create a feeling of love and romance and many honeymoon couples come here to pledge their everlasting love.

I have come to this village not as a honeymooner but as a traveller on a personal journey with a desire rooted in the basic urge to be reunited with a memory.

There will be no hugging or hand shaking, just a heart full of surprise and happiness if I find the object I’m looking for.

And there it is, I have stumbled on my treasure. The emotion of the moment is profound, even though there is nobody there to touch or share it with.

A lot is going on in my heart and mind that is beyond simple observation. This is a great reflective moment for a parent to have about their offspring.

I call the girls over and make the invisible become visible and the overlooked become looked. Maybe no one has seen it, maybe many have seen it, but I am the one that gives it meaning.

I gave this engraved lock to my son a few years back and when he was in this obscure part of the south of France, the village of Villefranche-sur-Mer which he loved so much, he affixed it here by the sea to maintain a bond.

It has rusted, it has endured good and bad weather, but most of all it has done its job.

I grasp this lock, this everyday thing and let it transport me over the more than 10,000 miles that separate us and it is like we are here together. For me this will be enough.

Life is an everyday story and this is one of my life stories I will never forget.



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