Understand, I’ll slip quietly
Away from the noisy crowd
When I see the pale Stars rising,
blooming over the oaks
I’ll pursue solitary pathways
Through the pale twilit meadows,
With only this one dream:
You come too.
– Rainer Maria Rilke
Long ago, I imagined a fancy and fanciful life story for myself. It was extravagant and wonderfully cliche. Strangely those romantic dreams focused more on the “things” instead of the true significance. But once the shadowy “prince” became an actual person in real life, the material fades as the reality emerges. A sparkly ring is only valuable in a relationship when it represents true commitment. A bended knee seems cheesy unless the person in front of you is the one you’ve learned to love more dearly than life. It’s only through the hundreds of small moments when we choose love instead of selfishness that gestures gain their real romance. I’ve learned that true romance means little things like Dave-man starting my car so I don’t have to go out into the cold. Or stifling a snippy comment when I’m annoyed. Or giving up my lunch hour because I know he needs encouragement. None of those would make a good childhood fairy tale. But it isn’t about what you do that makes something romantic but truly who you do it with.
Living my story has meant soaking up beautiful moments as Dave and I realized we are the “one” for each other. Quietly realizing that this man is going to be my adventure buddy for the rest of my life — a simple “when” as we talk about our futures together.
In Austria, we visited so many perfectly “romantic” places: in front of Klimt’s “The Kiss,” surrounded by the Alps, overlooking a panoramic view of rolling hills, skiing through fluffy snow-covered pines, and even dressed in traditional Austrian Tracht on Christmas Eve. At these moments Dave looked at me and asked me to marry him. Not because he had planned it, but in special moments we know the only way we want to continue is with the other.
And so when he asked my to dress up and be ready for a dinner one evening this past week, I knew what was coming. We stood on a little hill in the park that was a refuge for us when we first arrived in a new town. We lost feeling in our fingers after only 5 minutes because the windchill was double digits below zero. But the snow sparkled like glitter and Dave-man asked me to be his wife one final time. And we made if official with a lovely little ring.
And in perfect adventure mode, we went to this tiny four corner town with what looked like a bar and then walked in to find a 5 star restaurant. We got the royal treatment as we savored the moment.
And to be completely cliche and wonderfully honest, I couldn’t imagine my story without Dave-man next to me. Or in the words of Anne “I don’t want sunbursts or marble halls, I just want you.” (Anne of the Island)