Dear Family & Friends,
As promised, this is the story of the second secret proposal. The setting is Los Robles, our historic neighborhood.
A Midsummer Night’s Scheme
Standing on floor: David and Sarah, brother and sister of Jay; Bill and Kristy, parents of Kathryn; Margie and John, parents of Jay. Standing on stairs: Kathryn and Jay.
Most Excellent Oberon, Your Royal Highness:
It is I, Robin Goodfellow, “that merry wanderer of the night,” who greets you. I have returned from the Antipodes and I hereby submit my report of the clandestine operation, under your command, to join the Houses of Davis and Stewart.
Queen Titania graciously granted my request and loaned four of her “Fairies-In-Waiting,” to assist me in this secret mission. Throughout this covert assignment, the Good Fairies and I were cloaked and invisible to the eyes of the mortals. Therefore, the mortals will never guess that we, the ambassadors from the Fairy World, were orchestrating every maneuver and every strategy, in the scheme to join the two Houses! [Me thinks: “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”]
Before leaving the Fairy World, your wise counsel prompted me to travel to Cupid’s Flower Field and to there secure a vial of Love Potion Essence. Then, after I entered the Mortal World, I touched a drop of the Essence to each eyelid of the Young Gentleman, Jay Stewart by name, as he slept in his parents’ home. Likewise, the four Good Fairies applied a drop of the Essence to each eyelid of the Young Lady, Kathryn Davis by name, as she slept, in her parents’ home. When next they saw each other, the match was easily made!
I whispered into the ear of Jay that he should propose to Kathryn, on an appointed Midsummer Evening, in the Enchanted Park, which the mortals call, “Los Robles,” named according to the Ancient Oaks. I further influenced him to serenade the Lady, in the Park, under the branches of a tree, newly-planted and dedicated to the memory of the beloved Kathy, the late grandmother of Kathryn.
On the appointed Midsummer Day, in a stroke of genius, I arranged for Jay and Kathryn to employ a carriage and to dine together, far away from the Park. As dusk approached, the Good Fairies and I covertly assisted the mortals, in making preparations for the “Secret Proposal” and for the “Surprise Party” that would immediately follow.
The weather being inclement, I whispered into the ears of Lord & Lady Davis, the parents of Kathryn, that they should secure a banner or tent, to shelter and protect the “Secret Proposal Site” from the rain. My suggestion prompted Lord Davis to borrow a large patio-table umbrella from an obliging neighbor. Next, I directed Lord & Lady Stewart & their two adult children [Sarah and David, by name] to spread a blanket under the umbrella, on top of the damp grass. Upon this blanket, they placed a waterproof case, which contained a musical instrument, rather like a lute. Carefully hidden within the case was an heirloom ring!
Having finished these tasks, the Families Davis and Stewart departed from the Enchanted Park and sought shelter inside the Davis Manor, located next to the Park. The Good Fairies and I kept sentinel over both the musical instrument and the ring, while the mortals, inside the Manor, stood in front of the windows facing the park. From this vantage point, the mortals observed Jay and Kathryn, as they arrived, at dusk, in their carriage, to the Enchanted Park! With a bit of Fairy Dust, we cloaked the mortals so that they could observe Jay and Kathryn but not vice versa.
Jay serenaded Kathryn with a love song, a sonnet, composed from his own pure brain and accompanied by the lute. O, how she appeared to swoon, as the words of the love song enveloped her! How she wept tears of joy upon the hearing of his declaration of love! How much greater was her joy, when Jay concluded his song with the last line: “Will you be my wife?” How her heart did melt, when Jay knelt before her, bestowing upon her an engagement ring, fashioned from a cherished heirloom from Grandmother Kathy. Jay’s joy was unbounded, too, when Kathryn, without hesitation, accepted the proposal of marriage and vowed that “My heart is true as steel.”
We directed the two Young Lovers, through the driving rain, to the Davis Manor, to share the glad tidings with Lord & Lady Davis. Upon entering the front door of the manor, they found the interior strangely dark and quiet. So, we guided them to the back door, which opened up into an Enchanted Walled Garden. Hanging from the branches of the Garden Oak Tree were [what the mortals call] “Fairy Lights,” which, along with the candles on tabletops, illuminated the Garden, performing the office of the moon, which was sadly blotted out by the clouds.
When the two Young Lovers opened the back door, how Kathryn did swoon again! How her face flushed! How she laughed with merriment, when she heard a joyful, loud shout: “Surprise!” For there, gathered in the Enchanted Walled Garden, were the family members and closest friends of the Houses of Davis and Stewart! The astonished Kathryn declared, “I am amazed and know not what to say!”
Ah, me! Such merry-making ensued! All the mortals raised a glass, to toast the Engaged Couple and to wish them joy! Then, the mortals took “photographs,” which, through some sorcery, captures images through the means of a small box with a magic eye. Your Highness may view some of these “photographs,” which the Good Fairies “borrowed” and which I have included in this report.
I orchestrated the rescue of the refreshments from the weather, as the mortals transferred them, with Fairy-like energy and efficiency, into the Manor, where all the mortals dashed to escape the rain, thunder, and lightning. There, the revelry continued, the likes of which I have seldom observed, outside of the domain of the Fairy World.
The Bard did write [giving these to words to Lysander to speak]: “The course of true love never did run smooth.” And, in truth, I thought that the inclement weather might have beaten us. Yet, on this Midsummer Evening, Zeus, the god of thunder, was no match for Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.
All that remains, after this successful campaign now ended, is for Your Highness and Her Highness, Queen Titania, to be present, yet hidden and veiled, to bless these two Young Lovers, on the day of their Nuptials, on the Evening before the Dawn of the New Year.
Your humble servant,
~~~Margo Blair Payne, June 2011
Jay and Margot