For me, the sun setting on the ocean has to be the most romantic setting that nature can provide. Perhaps it is the soothing sounds of waves rolling on the beach, or maybe the fresh cooling breeze just makes snuggling that much better. It could be that the depth of the water and the endless vista makes us realize how insignificant our daily worries really are and allows us to focus on the things that really matter, such as love.
Whatever the reasons, they were compelling enough that I knew where I wanted to propose to the woman of my dreams when I figured out who that was. I know I am not alone in this since all manner of movies show those lovely scenes of the ocean when couples are taking their relationship to new levels.
This desire created a bit of a problem for me when that time finally came. You see, I live on the prairies and there are no oceans around here. To complicate matters, at the time I wanted to propose my budget did not allow for an engagement ring and a wedding and a trip to the ocean to pop the question. Seeing how the ring and wedding were the two most important parts of the process, I had to improvise on the proposal location.
For those of you who have been to the Canadian prairies, you will appreciate that almost every lake is really just a glorified slough complete with a funny smell, no waves, no sunset on the water, and a host of wonderful bugs to keep you company. If there happens to be a beach that is worth the name, then people flock to it from all the remotely nearby centres and it becomes crowded on anything resembling a beautiful day.
So imagine my satisfaction at finding a place that was four hours north of Edmonton that had the ingredients I was looking for. Normally one would not go north of a northerly city like Edmonton in order to find a beach, which is what makes it such a spectacular find.
Most people think the only thing North of Edmonton is the Oilsands, so that ensures some measure of privacy. If a person in this city is going to travel fours hours to find beauty, they will head to Jasper or Banff, which is another reason Lesser Slave Lake remains relatively unknown, even to Edmontonians.
Lesser Slave Lake is the smaller of the two Slave Lakes in Canada, but even so it is over one hundred kilometres across, which makes it so you can't see the other side. On the Eastern end of the lake there is a beach (eight Kilometres long) with the finest white sand imaginable, and since no one knows about it, you are pretty much guaranteed to have it to yourself.
So I planned a one night weekend getaway at a nice lake I have discovered. It sounded inocuous enough that she suspected nothing when we made the plan to go.
There are some small mountains (big hills) in the area and we had a day of hiking and a nice supper before heading down to the beach to unwind. We brought a little Ghettoblaster (yes I am dating myself - it played cassettes) and a blanket and some Mike's hard lemonade and we got ourselves right cozy there on a beach facing west.
There was a breeze coming out of the west that swept mosquitos away and also created large enough waves on the hundred or so kilometres of lake that in my minds eye I was seeing rollers washing on a beach as the tide came in. You couldn't see land on the other side so the water looked endless. It was perfect.
I was leaning back and she was leaning on me and we just chatted and watched the sun go down. Just as it slipped below the horizon one of "our songs" (it was Sarah Mclachlan) came on and the sky was brilliant with colour. I knew that was the moment so I reached behind me and plucked the ring from the spot where I had it hidden and slipped it on to her finger. I asked my love to marry me and she said yes.
We kissed for a while and then cried a little too before resuming our amazing snuggle. Just as we both let out a sigh of content a shooting star streaked across out the sky. We both gasped at the sight and then held each other even tighter. When the light left the sky the Aurora Borealis put on a show for us. It couldn't have possibly been better.
It remains the most magical night of my life. It seemed that everything transpired better than I had hoped, and the most amazing part was that the woman of my dreams loved me enough to say yes.