Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Ring

Manchester Center, VT
Mile 1636

There's been a scenario that I've played out in my mind, a mental image that has helped me put one foot in front of the other for these hundreds of miles. In it, I meet Monica on Katahdin and ask for her to be my wife. It seemed a suitable action-hero way to propose. The accompanying snow and wind would also provide a useful analogy to matrimony to myself. This mental image was a warm globe that I could rely on to force me up the next thousand, three thousand, six thousand feet.

What actually happened, we decided to go on a day hike during her visit in Sheffield. It was more of a rain hike. We strolled up a moderate grade to a waterfall. As we gently lowered ourselves down a slope to an overlook, Monica turned suddenly around with a tiny box in her hands. She opened it. Inside was a ring. "So- will you marry me?", she asked.

What could I say? She's been with me through my mood swings, my alcoholism, my limitless capacity for fecklessness and God knows what else, not least of which is this trip- an enforced six month absence from which she receives no physical promise of security, except for my word over the phone that I have become the best man I have ever been in my entire life.

For the past five years, she has been the warm, glowing center my life has revolved around. There's nothing I am that would be possible without her. I love her.

For a split second, I wondered how I was going to explain this gender flip to my family- Monica proposing to me, after all. I decided that wasn't that important right now. It's the 21st Century, after all.

All these things flew through my mind in that moment. "Yes . .yes", I said, as I drew her to me.

We hugged for a long time, there in the rain, me whispering, yes, I will marry you, yes. I glow in the remembering of that moment.

It's a moment I will carry with me for the rest of my life. The ring is titanium- a hiker's ring- virtually weightless, but shining on my finger, a reminder of the moment.

As it turned out, my proposal idea couldn't have happened, as Monica has a board meeting to attend on my summit date. We might have otherwise ended up proposing to each other at the same time. Although this would have been sort of humorous, I can't think of a better way for it to have happened than the way it did.

I'll make my own proposal bid later, in the year we have before a marriage date. It'll be a good one, at a random moment (don't let your guard down sweetheart). During a good hurricane maybe. Something powerful, something as unpredictable as it is inevitable. In other words, something like love itself.

2 comments:

Samer said...

Congrat on this new chapter in your life!!!

shepherd said...

John, contgratulations. Take care of her.