I was excited about this month’s theme–language–and I decided to treat it a bit like a scavenger hunt. Specifically I was on the lookout for handwritten, painted or carved words on the streets of NYC. One morning while walking through my favorite local park I spotted this note drawn on the side of an arched tunnel and it really had me wondering…
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What was the story behind this exclamation? It was written in a beautiful and kind of remote spot. A favorite of mine, in fact, for when I need a quiet place to take a self portrait.

I could just visualize the romantic scene, with the trees blowing in the summer wind and the Hudson River flowing down below. Framed by the beautiful curved pathways and old stone arches–the perfect setting to get down on one knee. In my mind I imagined a marriage proposal. It was perfectly planned out. He surprised her, and she cried and jumped into his arms as she said yes! The ring was modest, he spent every dime he had on it…and she loved it. They were high school sweethearts and they immediately started making plans for their small wedding down at city hall.

Well, at least that’s how I envisioned it.

After this sighting, I decided to narrow my scavenger hunt to look only for other love stories over the coming days. And don’t you know, while out exploring the following week, I saw this on the sidewalk one afternoon–in the same park…

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I thought to myself…another proposal? A wedding perhaps? And then around the corner and a few yards further down the path my question was answered…

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The month of August continued with other signs of love popping up here and there. This cute note in childish handwriting written in chalk in front of an elementary school in my neighborhood. I imagine a schoolgirl crush. Her first one. And over the summer she doesn’t see him as much so she wants him to know she’s thinking about him!

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And then there was this one carved with a bit more permanence into the concrete sidewalk near the bus station. It had a lonely feeling to me. An unrequited love, the author pining away in silence…

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All of this made me think about a single word written in snow back on a cold day in January…

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I was in labor already for over 16 hours and our doula told us to take a walk around our block to try to “get things moving”. It was snowing pretty hard and I felt like we needed to capture the moment. Excitement. Fear. Anticipation. She’s ALMOST here!

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I doubt anyone had the chance to imagine a story behind our word as the snow continued to fall rapidly from the winter sky. It was our secret  love message to our little girl, living only for the minute it took for a new layer of pristine white snow to cover it up as if it never existed.

These signs of love are everywhere! Some straightforward, some begging for a little more interpretation. Have you made up any stories based on written words or a stranger’s body language perhaps? It can be so fun to imagine.

I hope you are having a wonderful summer!

~Christy (Urban Muser)