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  • In its never-ending torment of the shore, the sea has carved out an elevation in the sand, and it's here I sit, safe from the waves.

    It's a beautiful scene, peaceful even, despite the roiling surf. In this moment, this is our beach, small, tucked like a cocoon into the lush mountainside, the sun quickly fading, glistening on the sea. There are only two ways in: by boat and by cliff. We'd taken the more ambitious route. And I was over it.

    It had been a long day that began as adventure and ended with exhaustion. From a winding two-hour drive to hike the waterfalls to an amazing lunch in a restaurant in a tree on the beach; driving through small villages in search of the most beautiful beach on the island; almost running out of gas and pulling up to a one-pump gas station whose circa 1975 pump was unreliably crusted in sea salt and whose owner had decided to run home for a few hours and shutter the only station in 40 miles (oh, the island life); dozing on an unknown beach with beers waiting for him to return; creeping slowly up a bumpy cliff in the rented sedan, mountain brush scraping the one side, a sheer drop to the ocean on the other, certain death a wheel turn away; trekking down over 200 steps to the sand.

    Why was he so adamant that we get to this damned beach?!

    I looked over at him fiddling with the camera, setting the perfect angle, timing the shot, quickly now before the light was lost. It had been this way at every stop: his perfectly arranged couple shots of us. It's what you get for being with a photojournalist.

    He runs over. The flash goes off. He runs off. Checks the shot. Sets it again. Comes back. Smiles. We do it a few times. Then there he is, towering over me, blocking the blinding sun with his Robinson Crusoe-esque form. He talks about beauty and love and family and I'm convinced he's trying to cheer the Grinch up. And then he gets down on one knee.

    And then he gets down on one knee.

    And pulls out the ring.

    And suddenly all I can hear is the roiling surf battering the shore, only now it sounds like heaven, like it's guiding me home.

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