I remember as a child, picking up a special flower and pulling the petals off one by one.
“He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me….”
This ritual was to give us the knowledge of a special someone’s love.
I think for this reason I have always loved flowers.
I will never forget Honeywood Heritage Nursery in Saskatchewan. I had anticipated visiting this dazzling piece of restored property. The day lilies, peonies, lilacs, plum, rhubarb, even apples and crabapples are all part of the horticulture of the prairies of days past. Today was the day, my boyfriend and I planned to visit.
The warm sunshine filled Canada day was glorious as Dario and I set out for a wonderful day together and a hopeful picnic. I felt the excitement way down to my toes. I had been dating this wonderful man for six months, but my heart for him had already been lit many years previous to that. Dario was my best friend and we always found ways to gravitate toward one another at group events in our church.
After the drive, we parked in the lot next to the swinging gate and met our tour guide. For the moment, our picnic lay preserved and cold in the car cooler. Dazzling whites, purples, reds, oranges and bright sunshine yellow filled the green landscape of trees and shrubs. We learned of its history and how the many plants and flowers were hidden in overgrowth over many years of neglect after the change of ownership. In later years the beautiful nursery was lovingly restored. Tourism Saskatchewan and the Architectural Heritage Society of Saskatchewan have recognized their efforts in this cause.
The day turned hot and our gracious host allowed us to use the small cabin used for visitors to escape for a few moments to sign the guest book and use the facilities. We set up to prepare for our now set- to-table picnic. The birds chirped nearby in eager anticipation of was about to happen.
I should have guessed that something was ‘up’ when Dario began to put a camera and tripod in place. Very good friends at the time prepared red and white flowers in glass bowls, special sparkling water to drink, wine glasses with red and white ribbon and some tasty treats to add to our own summer sandwiches and coffee. It seemed a little over the top just for Canada Day. I thought to myself that since Canada deserved it, I would just have to enjoy the pleasant extras.
My life was about to change through one special treasured object.
We seated ourselves at the table we’d spread and being hungry after our little hike, I was eager to dig in. The cuisine looked so enticing and the poured sparkling water so refreshing, I could hardly believe when Dario said to wait.
Seated next to me, Dario took my hand.
“You know Paula, I have really enjoyed the time we have spent together these pasts months. I have always treasured your friendship too. I have found that I have fallen in love with you.”
“Oh Dario,” I replied, “I know, and I feel the same way too.” Now can we eat, I thought.
With a half-smile Dario bent down and got on one knee while fishing in his pocket for something and never losing his gaze with mine.
“You don’t get it.”
With that comment he presented the open ring box with the most magnificent diamond ring.
“I’m asking if you’ll marry me.”
Joy burst through me and tears welled up as I nodded a yes. A gently kiss and warm embrace preceded the ‘putting on of the ring.”
The engagement ring was a solid gold band extending to a diamond shaped gold base. Placed on the north and south rounded tips were two tiny diamonds. In the positions of east and west were medium sized diamonds in a perfect trio, forming a heart shape. These diamonds nestled together with a large diamond in the middle settled in a snug gold claw. The diamonds cascaded in what appeared to be a perfect waterfall.
These cut stones, glistened and shimmered in the sunlight. The sparkle reflected what was sure to be seen in my watery eyes.
The tenderness and affection expressed in the moments that followed devotion and loved promised surely had imprinted on my heart a love that would last a lifetime. It would bring us through the great, the not so great and the downright ugly times that only a committed marriage would know.
This ring, my most prized object would represent all that love in the challenges that lay before us as husband and wife. We were married on October 10th, 2003 and we’ve never looked back.
In the moments when life handed us disagreements, misunderstandings and even infertility, the icon of our love has never lost its shine.
This is why my engagement/wedding ring has such value to me. Not just because it was a huge investment financially, even a simple band would have meant the same to me. Dario once told me that this ring represents his love, but it isn’t his actual love. Though this ring represents that love, it is only an object. I can look at its beauty and remember. He loves me, he really loves me. The real treasure on this earth is him.
Happy Canada/Engagement Day Honey!
Please visit http://honeywood-lilies.ca/