This is a short interruption from the intended JapAdventures saga to mention that I am now officially engaged to Bethwyn. I’d long since dreamed of proposing in Japan, kneeling on the balcony while sipping hot tea, watching the snow fall with blankets around our shoulders, composing haiku that marvelled at the magnificence of the world while elegantly framing deeply symbolic statements in seventeen syllables. As if.
My plan was to wait until we were in Kyoto and visit the love stones at Kiyomizu Dera. Legend has it that those individuals who can find their way from one stone to the other (six metres away) will find true love. I had schemed to get Bethwyn to put on a blindfold and try it, but there were many, many variables with this plan that may not have gone smoothly. Beth might not have been feeling well enough to go to the temple, she might not have dared to be blindfolded in public, and she might not have responded well to being the centre of attention amidst a crowd of strangers. All of these were very possible mood-killers.
Instead, I proposed to her this Valentine’s morning. Craig had left to go people watching/photographing so we had the house to ourselves. It was snowing outside, and we held each other lovingly. I suddenly realised that Bethwyn would probably prefer to not be in public during the proposal, so I rifled through Craig’s bags looking for “that thing he borrowed from me” (which Bethwyn thought was a naughty magazine), got down on one knee, and asked her to marry me. I could have thought of more romantic words to use, but none of them came to me and I didn’t want to risk stumbling over my tongue. She said yes, we kissed, she trembled, we laughed, I made hoto kaeki (hot cakes). All in all, a very good morning.
Alas, the engagement ring I ordered arrived a week too late, so I used the wedding ring instead. They’re made from walnut and oak wood, with a band of lapis lazuli. We’re both wearing them now, but I think I’ll probably take it off when I get back to Australia so that I can have the pleasure of wearing it once we’re married. But for now, it will be my special Japan ring.
Regular edition of “JapAdventures” coming up soon.