Friday, December 2, 2011

The Event - Part 5

Anita's reaction after realizing she just committed the
rest of her life to me. (And the problem is?!)

There are moments when we are awed, captivated and even find ourselves breathless by the scenery before us. It often illicit deep profound thoughts. Well, when Anita and I were sitting there atop Ontario with the splendor of the endless scenery before us, I began asking those atypical questions. About her dreams and wishes, what she wanted in life, and ultimately about happiness. Prepping Anita to finally pose the question, my mouth suddenly parched, my heartbeat doubled, and my hand inside my pocket that held the wooden ring started to sweat. I'm sure my vision went fuzzy and my blood pressure dropped  precipitously low, so before I fainted and totally ruin the moment, I quickly asked if she would make me the happiness person in the world -as I slid the wooden ring on her finger. 

From that point on, I had no recollection of the following minute(s). Every blood vessel in my body had probably constricted so much, the lack of oxygen to my head must have halted my ability to record the proceeding events - quite frankly being one of the most important times in my life. I seriously had no clue if she even said yes! When I finally started to come back from 'outer space', I heard Anita go on about being shocked and surprised I proposed so soon. I surmised she might have said yes, but in all honesty, I had no clue! No word of a lie, I actually asked her afterwards if she actually said yes. Understandably, both surprised and perplexed by my question, she adamantly and reassuringly acknowledged she did - phew! Talk about being a space cadet!

So here it is, the wooden engagement ring. Made of cedar
from the shores of Scarecrow Lk and carved
with a Leatherman!

Relieved by both the affirmative answer and the weight that was now lifted off my shoulder, I was finally able to relax and join in on the conversation. Anita remarked that she was amazed and impressed that I was able to carve a ring that coincidentally also fit! (Yes, I was beaming!) Although, I did tell her luck played a big part in it. I then promised her a more substantial engagement ring with an actual stone after the trip, but for now, she would have to accept this symbolic one. Comically, this response gave me another neat idea, as I offered to find a 'stone' to affix to the wooden ring. This would then complete the look of a typical engagement ring - a la Au Naturel style! As we were sitting atop a mound of quartzite, I quickly searched around and found a few that seemed to work. With her approval of the final stone, we created an even more symbolic ring - one that was also from the very place we got engaged!

The wooden ring with the very impressive 
'2 carat quartzite' - lol

We were both on a 'high', (Excuse the puns!), on the highest point of land, and which certainly was the highlight of the day for both of us. We were giddy, ecstatic and overwhelmed by the moment. It's one of those few times in life when you feel the emotions warm and extend to the furthest reaches of your body. All you want to do is just take it all in, and never forget it. As much as we would have loved to stay there and let time stand still, I eventually had to break the reverie. It was getting late and we still had to cover some distance that day. (A rest day was originally scheduled for this day, but was lost due to unexpectedly being wind bound on Smoothwater Lake.) We took one last look around, embraced, then turned to leave that unique location, which incidentally became even more special to us.

The highest point in Ontario now has more
significance to the both of us!

The rest of the trip didn't pan out exactly as planned. We ran into more of the same problems we had at the beginning of the trip - go figure. Low water (more like no water) on the Lady Evelyn river meant we couldn't make it to Florence Lake. Then ironically, we ended up back at Smoothwater Lake where we dealt with wind again. We even decided to finish the trip a day early as we ran out of options. Despite all this, I was completely thankful that I was able to accomplish what I had set out to do. Call it good timing, luck, or divine intervention, whatever it was, I was grateful for the perfect conditions that allowed me to affirm one of the biggest changes to my life. There is now a new passion in my life besides paddling - Anita. Life as I've known it won't ever be the same.

Its a life changing decision, but one I
happily look forward to.

Canoes were originally made with two people in mind. I am just thrilled, that someone has now permanently taken that other seat. Looking forward to a life full of paddling adventures with Anita!


Postscript: So the big question, why the pause? There actually was a valid reason for it. In Anita's defense, the proposal not only caught her off guard, (Which is how it's supposed to happen, right?) but at the same time, she thought the wooden ring was a joke. A few weeks prior, Anita's mom unexpectedly spoke to both of us about rings and marriage. When Anita and I talked about that discussion later on, she sarcastically asked for a ring. I jokingly pulled off a key ring and slipped it on her finger, stating that was all she would get. That incident was obviously still fresh in her mind when the actual moment came, and guess what? She didn't initially reply because she honestly thought it was another joke! Talk about back-firing! In any case, as you know from my state of disconnect, I didn't even hear it, let alone was cognizant of anything she said afterwards - but at least I now know why. I guess in the end, the joke was really on me! (shaking my head)

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