When I woke up on Sunday I had an inclination that it was going to be a good day – but I had no idea just how amazing it would be. Mark wanted to go for a hike – now this was nothing out of the ordinary as we have been hiking a lot in Canada (as you would probably know from this blog). We had the alarm set for 8.30am, and although I was sleepy in my warm bed, Mark was up and ready to go. When we walked outside there was so much frost that it looked like snow. The grass was frozen and crunchy and if you stood on it, it left a lasting footprint. We admired the frost and caught the bus to Locke St where we got some delicious bagels (super fresh ones!)
On our trip a few weeks ago we came out at this really nice area with beautiful trees and a waterfall. We didn’t appreciate it much last time because we were so tired after the 25km hike. It was really lovely though, with lots of trees gracefully dropping perfect leaves and logs covered in bluish frost.
We went off the beaten trail, away from the morning joggers, squirrels and chipmunks in search of a good view. Mark led the way with an incredible enthusiasm to the top of the escarpment. You know how in most photos of steep gradient it doesn’t do it justice? Well remember that when looking at this:
As we climbed higher we saw a sign that said “No trespassing” and a fence. I was a bit preoccupied because I needed to film a 3 minute interview for a mentorship program I am applying for back at Wollongong. I was mentally trying to prepare what I needed to say as well as looking for a good spot to film it. Mark seemed kind of obsessed with finding a good spot too, but I just assumed it was for my video. He suggested that we go to another track where he saw some chipmunks – as always when chipmunks are involved – I thought it was a good idea.
We half-slid half-walked to the base of the mountain and then saw a drop into a rock-filled stream toward a waterfall.
The ground was absolutely covered in leaves, it’s like in cartoons where they dig a hole and cover it in sticks and leaves so if you stand on it you fall in! In Australia someone would notice the random pile of leaves – but over here it would blend in perfectly with the ground. So we meandered down the leaf-covered mini-cliff to the stream. The rocks were really interesting; there were regular rocks, but also red and blue/grey clay, and sometimes they mixed together to make cool patterns.
We rock-hopped up the stream towards the sound of the waterfall.
The leaves on the rocks were really beautiful, red and covered in tiny water droplets. It was so cold though – rock hopping is a bit harder when you’re wearing winter boots, 3 jumpers and a trench coat, a hat and gloves.
We walked up to a rock that had water flowing over its icy surface. Mark said that he had found our spot, it was a lovely place to sit – like pride rock apparently. We were right next to the water running shallowly over the rocks and the small waterfall, with a great view of the big waterfall with the sun peeping over the top.
We sat down on the chilly rock and were just chatting about how pretty it was. Flowing naturally from our conversation, Mark started to say, “you know how I want to spend the rest of my life with you…” to which I replied, “yeah” and then he reached toward his front pocket (the very nice pocket of his gorgeous new jacket) and pulled out a wooden box. I’m not sure what I was thinking, but my heart was racing and I was fixated on this lovely box. He opened it up to reveal a sparkling diamond ring and asked me to marry him. Well what was I going to say? The person I love, offers me a ring that glitters back the beautiful scene around me and asks me if I want to spend our lives together? YES!
It took me awhile to really comprehend what had happened. Mark and I had talked about getting engaged, and so yes… I was expecting it at some point. But I must say, I was not expecting it on the 30th of October 2011. I never really thought it would be a surprise for us, because we had discussed it so much… but hey, I was surprised. I was really surprised. When did he go buy the ring? I asked myself. Well it is my birthday in a week and so I hadn’t seen anything suspicious about long trips to the shops… It is crazy that hiding in Mark’s suitcase (our suitcases are the only designated areas of privacy in our very cosy room) for nearly a week was my engagement ring. Mark had a lot longer to comprehend the idea than I did. When he woke up on Sunday he knew he was getting engaged. Me? I was going on a hike and then out to sushi. But man, it was a good proposal.
As we walked back on the trail I felt like I had a large moon on my finger. It catches every little ray of light and throws it back as some magnificent colour off one of its many angles. Mark told me that the diamond is a Canadian diamond, so it came right out of this Canadian ground. I think that is why it looks like ice – maybe because it is set in white gold aswell, it looks almost blue and like a snowflake. The actual diamond is shaped like a real gem – like treasure; something a pirate would bury and then sail the seas to recover. I can even see the little point at the bottom of the diamond and look through the ring – it kind of feels like maybe it could be used for navigation… but probably not.
When we got home it was Skype time. It was out 4.30pm and 7.30am back in Aus. It was so exciting to tell our families at home. Skype is a pretty amazing tool: we could sit together and talk face to face with people we love… Skype is missing one vital element though: the hug. I must say I am looking forward to some pretty important, long and meaningful hugs when I get back to Australia.
I am very lucky for many, MANY reasons… and one of them is I am going to continue the excitement and celebrate again when we get back to home in a few months. For now though, I am going to be spending a lot of time looking at my beautiful engagement ring and loving my fiancé!