I remember the 14 June 2014 like it was just yesterday.
I woke up early in Drakensburg on that winter morning, my boyfriend at the time was trying to convince me that it’s a lovely day to go on a hike, just us two. Firstly, I am not a person who loves hikes and secondly, we were there for the weekend with family…so it would be a bit rude to just venture out on our own, leaving them behind. So I did the courteous thing and asked who wanted to join us. Strange enough, none of the 15 or so people, including children, wanted to join us. My boyfriend could be very convincing, so there I was, in a thick winter jacket and takkies, holding his hand and heading toward the hiking trail, me wearing a frown on my face, clearly not enthusiastic to go on this hike.
Ten minutes later on our trail, I was feeling very hot in that thick jacket and it was uphill so I was out of breath, I’m not fit now and I certainly wasn’t fit then either. What’s worse is that I don’t enjoy being out in the sun and this winter sun was piercing into my skin through my layers of clothes.
We passed some people along the way and I tried to force a smile and not look irritated. My boyfriend was taking photos along the way so I ever so eagerly smiled when I saw the lens pointing at me.
We eventually got to a waterfall, the mere sight of it made the hike at that point worth the while as I love waterfalls. At the bottom of the waterfall was a truly romantic setup. I could not help but admire it and looked around, wondering who that was for. My boyfriend also looked surprised and commented on how romantic that person is…whoever set that up. Unsuspecting I inquisitively looked at the bottle of champagne and the chocolate dipped strawberries, I took the camera from my husband and took some photos of it. He commented that it was rude of me to take photos of someone else’s stuff.
We just stood there, looking at the waterfall, listening to the water and the sound of nature, for those moments I even forgot that we hiked there because we were surrounded in tranquility and beauty.
My boyfriend then smiled a shy smile and unwrapped the cling wrap covering the strawberries, takes one out and “feeds” it to me…he said that this was for us. I was so smitten. I love surprises! I had not suspected this at all. How sweet of him, I thought!
Just when I thought that was actually the surprise…I got the real surprise of my life when he got down on his knees! “Oh my gosh…this isn’t happening,” I thought to myself. I felt my heart beat so fast and I tried to convince myself that I wasn’t dreaming. With teary eyes and a look I will never forget, trying to balance on his knee on the uneven rock, he asked me if I would marry him! Yes! Yes! Of course yes! OH. MY. GOSH. This just happened! I was elated! That was his invitation for me to spend the rest of my life with him. How special and honoured I felt! Overwhelmed with excitement, I could not stop smiling.
He popped the champagne and we toasted after he put the ring on my finger. Locked in embrace, kiss or two to seal the deal and then we were ready to finish the hike and go share this wonderful news with the rest of the family – who I then found out, already knew – this is what the weekend away was about and I was the last to find out. Being surprised made it even more special. Going back, the hike got more difficult as there was more uphills – I look back and joke about it, saying that he made me “work for my ring”.
He is now my husband and I am ever so grateful for that day he got down on his knees and invited me to spend the rest of my life with him.