I held a piece of blackthorn in my hand, collected from her favourite place, washed in water from the Ganges, and anointed in oils for love and health and connection and which I'd carved into a ring.
And I handed it to her as I said these words:
In the end it was always going to come down to love. That skipped beat my heart took when we first met, our first kiss just along from the south bank, we have held hands ever since, the laugh you laugh that comes from somewhere that makes me feel untethered happiness, the tears you've shed, a river of yourself laid bare, and truly being a mother to the girls, when they need more than one mother could carry. It is love that makes this, it is love that sustains this, it is love that will hold this as we take each new step together. I have no more love than I have for you and for the love you give to me. Will you marry me, my love?
And Dawn Weller, the love of my life, said yes!