Last Thursday was our wedding anniversary, so I have decided to share with you the story of my proposal to my then girlfriend.
My girlfriend of 18 months and I had embarked on a campervan tour of the New Zealand south island, and were two weeks into our trip. After flying into Christchurch and picking up our campervan we’d made our way slowly down the east coast to Dunedin. We had discovered the folly of the provided blanket with our hire, it was completely useless for the south island winter. To compound the cold the heater only worked when the van was plugged into power, and considering we were spending every second night on the road it wasn’t that helpful. We did however find more ‘natural’ ways to keep warm though.
After spending a few nights in Dunedin it came the time to set off on the next leg of our journey towards Invercargil through the Catlins Forest. Although the air was brisk the sun was shining and another beautiful day was ahead of us. Little did my girlfriend realise that today I planned to propose to her when we found camp for the night. So after a beautiful day of bush walks and visiting waterfalls the night encroached upon us. I planned on travelling to Purakanui Falls for us to camp and for a scenic place for me to propose to her. However, as we headed towards the falls along a dusty dirt track she saw a sign for Purakanui Bay and wanted to camp there for the night. I however adamantly said “No”, as I had set my mind on the falls and was nervous about deviating from my proposal. After another 10 minutes we arrived at the carpark for the falls, only to discover there was no where to camp and with a storm brooding the walk to the falls was far from appealing or romantic. I had to admit that I was wrong and the we should have headed to the bay, however it turned into an argument (as she pestered me why I wanted to go to the falls so badly, and I had to deflect). I have since learnt to accept that she is always “right”.
We found the track down towards the bay. Our anger soon bated and a humourous mood set in as the road followed a narrow valley and a herd of cows thought the road looked the best path towards the Bay. There were too many and no where for the cows to go, so we had to herd them onwards at about 5km per hour. However, this got old after 30 minutes, and I still wanted to beat the sun down for my proposal.
The valley widened out near the coast and the cows let us pass. The bay was magnificent and the sun was still setting … it was a perfect spot, and we were all alone. After parking up we decided to go for a walk and find a nice spot to watch the darkness grow across the bay. I was a nervous wreck by this stage, my hands were sweaty and I could hardly walk. I had managed to smuggle the ring across to New Zealand from Australia, and had hid it in a skiing glove whilst we travelled around the country. Now the time had come to see if she says “yes” or “no”.
We found a nice spot to sit and snuggle together for warmth. Finally my moment arrived, I prepared myself. I was ready. My girlfriend however speaks up, “We should get a photo”. It was the last thing on my mind, but thought ironically little did she know the importance of the photo. We took our happy snap, and whilst she put the camera down I reached down and grabbed my poem that I had written for her.
“You are my bonita mariposa,
You have been my beacon of hope,
I was lost at sea when you found me,
You have shone through this haze
Now every minute without you dims in comparison.
You warm my heart with your touch,
Make me smile inside with your presence,
You bring a sense of love to everything you do.
I can’t deny that life without you would be inferior,
You are truly the lady I want by my side;
For now and forever!
We do have our differences,
We don’t always agree,
This keeps us interesting,
It makes us challenging and so very rewarding,
Our differences pale in comparison to the might of our love.
Can you deny you do not love me?
Can you deny you do not want to grow old with me?
If not, then with these 3 simple words
Please marry me”