Our destination was the W. R. Hearst State Beach in San Simeon. It was a beautiful day on the coast - warm with high clouds and a light breeze. Once Jessica had a chance to put her toes in the water, we walked down the beach and picked up a trail along the bluff through the Eucalyptus trees.
After stopping to climb some trees, we found a path back down to the water and explored some of the tide pools, looking at the crabs and starfish, watching the pelicans and gulls gliding above the water, and just enjoying being together.
It was 4:30 in the afternoon. I suggested we start heading back to the beach, and we turned around. We walked in silence, listening to the rustling wind and the rhythm of the surf. Beauty. Youth. Peace.
We got back to the main beach and explored some more tide pools. Anemones, barnacles, and more starfish. The sun was just beginning to set on the horizon, and a full moon was rising over the hills behind us, glowing soft in the evening mist.
"It's all enchanted and wild / Just like my heart said it was gonna be..."-Nickel Creek, Nickel Creek, "Out Of The Woods"
There was a long pier extending over the water, and I asked her if we could walk out on it before we left. We stood at the end, looking out over the water, listening to the bells on the buoys and watching the pelicans diving in search of food.
After a few minutes we went over to a bench and sat on the backrest with our feet on the seat so we could see over the rail of the pier better.
I told her some poetry that I'd written and memorized as a preface to my proposal. Then I got down on my knee on the bench seat, took her hands in mine, and told her that I loved her - desperately, with everything I am. I told her I was ready to commit the rest of my life to loving her, caring for her, protecting her, sheltering her. And then I asked her if she would be my wife.
She said yes.
Giddy, I unzipped my coat pocket and retrieved the ring. I slipped it on her finger, and we embraced hard - still having trouble believing we weren't dreaming. I was choking back sobs, but mostly we were too amazed to cry.
The sky was crisscrossed with brilliant color. We sat on the bench with our arms around each other, both in awe of what had just taken place. I said "It's us now, in everything," and she said "Yes..." and sighed happily. We prayed together about the future, fully conscious of the holiness of the moment.
"We don't know / And we won't know / What we're in for / But it's something beautiful..."-Alex Mejias, Alex Mejias, "Something Beautiful"
I never dreamed.
We walked back down the pier, hand in hand for the first time. On the way to the restaurant, we called our families and told them the news. The celebration spread like electricity.
Looking at each other across the table at the restaurant, we still couldn't believe it. We ordered and tried to eat, and after the meal I gave her a Bible. Then it was time to drive home.
A piece of advice for the guys: get an automatic transmission. It makes holding hands a lot easier.
What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him.-1 Corinthians 2:9