The only two passengers in an empty school bus, we bumped along a rocky moonscape in Iceland.
Having just skied across the Vatnajökull Glacier during the previous 8 long days, Nathaniel and I were hungry. And tired. But we were also grateful. It was 8 in the morning. An off-duty bus driver agreed to let us ride along from the outpost at Kverkfjöll to the nearest town - two hours away - and from there, try our luck at hitching to Akureyri, to rent a car, to drive 200km to Reykjavik, and to catch a flight to Manchester.
The crossing had tested me. I cried from exhaustion over the traverse. Frustration. Uncertainty.
And every time, Nathaniel was cheerfully at my side. He took heavy things from my pack. "Have another Cliff shot" he'd say, or simply pour me a shot of miso from the battered thermos. Once when I cried, he said, "Tell me all the things you love about your dad."
What more can I hope for in my dearest companion, than for his patient goodness?
So at eight that morning, on a Soviet-era bus, on a dirt road filled with rocks —but also light — he pulled from his pocket a bundle of soft tissues bound with tape, and from this bundle a ring.
In a moment as surreal as the landscape, he asked if I would be his wife. In a corner of Kverkfjöll, the lunar landscape witnessed my YES.