My heart answers before the words pass through my lips, my wet face a mask of glacial splash and tears of joy–yes! I say to my love, he on bended knee, pillow of Patagonia jacket protecting surgery scar and joint from ravages of pointy rock, me freshly turned from the leap off my mid-lake rock of yogic folding and stretching to meet his request to, “just come here, dammit!”
My being responds in unison to my love’s proposal for a lifetime together, happiness, delight, wonder, amazement, contentment, excitement, eagerness, amour, tenderness–the list is long–surge through me like whirlwind, soul expanding beyond confines of my skin, body happy to be steadied by our embrace.
This moment is simultaneously incredible yet so real, rooted in the magic majesty of this place, this king of mountain kings, the mood so natural and so us, the morning sunrise and spectacle our matrimonial baptism sanctioned by celestial kiss, Lago Las Tres our engagement pool.
What a high to ride right here, right now, the antithesis of where our journey threatened to plummet just a few short months ago, and now, thanks to the grace of time, distance, and reflection, we meet again as kindred spirits, free from and unconcerned with the trivialities that drag us down before, wiser, stronger, more patient, kinder.
I rediscover the man, and he, the woman, behind calloused exteriors of indifference, walls of Jericho thrown down in recognition that our bond flows deep and strong, for it is love that opens my heart to his and cords us together.
I choose you, I say, and this is true, for I realize that the whole world over, I search for him, my Graham, overturning rock and stone to see if maybe, just maybe, a little piece of my love lives here, maybe there.
So, today, right now, this moment, at half-past-eleven on the fourth day of March, lucky year 2013, we honor what our hearts already know, which is that we have been betrothed from the moment our eyes lock over a decade ago, these last ten years a patient teacher waiting for our minds to know our souls.
I can barely contain my smile, so wide I think it must definitely reach my ears, and yes, engagement is different from commitment, for even though we live as partners, planning to profess our togetherness to the world is a new level, a new journey, one of, dare I say it, spiritual magnitude, because as much as I rally against the institution of marriage as anti-feminist, archaic, and so forth, its kernel of truth stays untarnished, which is that, at the end of the day, it’s about love.
And, love, my loves, is an action verb, a responsibility, a demonstration, a commitment, an attitude, a sense of wonder, a powerful bond between beings, families, communities, one I burst with pride to share with this man, my Cracker.
So, yes, my sweetheart, yes, we beam, silly and goofy through lunch on granite bench overlooking Laguna Susia, all the way down the way we came, Graham delicately trying to braid strand of grass to act as makeshift ring.
But, none of this before brushing an eyelash from my cheek, Graham’s four-leaf clover, totem upon which he wishes in São Paulo and again at camp this morning for the grace to ask and for me to say, what else, yes.