I’ve managed to catch most of my family and close friends either in person, on the phone, or via email, and the big news is starting to make the rounds, so I suppose it’s time I post it here:
Jose is no longer my boyfriend…because he’s now my fiance!
Last Saturday, we spent the day wandering around Nara, Japan. The small city is less than an hour by train from Kyoto and was the capital of Japan for a short time about 1300 years ago. (Yes, 1300 years.) There is a huge park there full of temples, shrines, gardens, and “sacred” deer that follow you around looking for handouts. The day was chilly and rainy, but it was the only day we had left to make the trip to Nara, so off we went. The rain stopped around lunchtime, but the skies remained thick and overcast for the rest of the day.
We walked from the train station to the park and temple area and started to explore. We saw a few shrines, a pagoda, and then headed to Todai-ji, an enormous temple that is the largest wooden structure in the world. There’s a bronze statue of Buddha inside that’s almost 50 feet tall! From there we walked up the hill to Nigatsu-do Hall and had a great view of the city below and the mountains beyond. It was around this time that Jose starting talking about wanting to find a garden and sit down on a bench for a while.
We both like strolling through Japanese gardens (we’d already seen a couple), so that request didn’t strike me as odd. And his wish to find a bench didn’t seem strange either — by this time we’d been in Japan for a week, and had been walking all day, every day, on our feet for hours and hours at a time. Each night when we got back to our hotel or inn, we’d collapse on the bed and lie there until our feet stopped throbbing. And that did not always happen quickly! So when he mentioned wanting to find a bench and sit down in a garden, I figured he just wanted a rest. Heck, I needed a rest too.
We wandered through one more shrine before coming upon the Manyo Botanical Garden. We paid the small fee to go inside and were soon wandering along the trails. It was still overcast and everything was wet, but it was one of those rainy days that was actually sort of pretty. We’d been having such a great day in Nara, exclaiming on multiple occasions to each other how beautiful we thought the gardens and temples were. The Japanese really know how to work with nature, when they choose to (which is often).
Finally we came across a stone bench in the trees. No one was around, and Jose started to sit down. What did I do? Like the clueless idiot I sometimes am, I shot him an odd look and said “don’t sit there, it’s all wet!” So, still standing up, Jose said a few quick words and asked me if I would marry him.
Now, I admit that I had a few quick thoughts over the past few months about whether he might propose in Japan, but I really was not expecting it. I was so surprised that I forgot to say yes right away — I think I squeaked out “really?” and then as I got a good look at his hand and realized he was holding a ring, I repeated a louder “really?” Then I realized that I hadn’t actually answered.
And thus we are engaged. 🙂
We never looked at rings together, and had only talked about it a bit, so even the ring was a total surprise. It’s a simple solitaire and aside from being completely paranoid that I am somehow going to knock the diamond off (I’ve never worn rings before), I absolutely love it.
p.s. The entry title is a quote from the movie Playing By Heart (and other sources in other forms): “Talking about love is like dancing about architecture.” True, but it doesn’t mean we don’t try to talk about it anyway. 🙂