One day, at the base of the Zugalla Mountain
Once upon a time,
on a well-beaten track
graced by a 3,000m volcano called, Mount Zugalla.
I looked across a campfire and,
chanced upon a laughing girl with sparkling eyes.
And my heart skipped…missed a beat…

As the inflamed logs spew out
the smoky fragrance of Australian eucalyptus,
and the budding flame commenced a teasing dance.
My heart came alive, fluttered and skittered –
like a young colt on a sun-drenched meadow.

He said, from that moment
the heavens opened up;
or so it seemed from his vantage point.
With belt girded and mind unwavering
he made up his mind to meet,
she of the laughter like chiming bells;
and eyes like opal in a flawless diamond.

From then, I pursued her in earnest.
But the more I yearned for my Zugalla Princess
it appeared, the less notice she took of me.
But I was determined; I had to have her.
A day like that happens upon a favoured few;
though many search for it high
and low.

They say love happens, usually, at first sighting.
Well then, I must, assuredly, have been lacking in sight
the day cupid came acalling.
For barely three feet away, across a flickering flame,
sat my heart, my destiny; and my eyes knew not.

Eventually, fate bestowed upon me a pity,
because I finally caught her attention.
She said, ‘okay, let’s just be friends.’
‘Oh yes, let’s!’ I gasped, grasping at straw.
But my friendship acceptance was just a ruse
I wanted more than her friendship…
baga yes, I did!

Fate can be many things: sometimes a jester,
sometimes solemn and yes sometimes, even kind.
And so three months later, fortune took upon me a pity
and crowned our friendship with one of its quirks.
We were at a pool, my ‘friend’ and I,
when her swim turned to a sickening swoon
as she scuttled in the pool and…
sank further down its deeper end.
Scarcely able to think I jumped, fully clothed,
into the churning pool and, once and for all, claimed,
that which was rightfully mine.

Our story took root fifteen years later,
on the serene backdrop of the Austrian Alps.
‘Come out, I’ve got something to show you,’ he’d said,
as he gingerly made his way through three metres of snow
and the biting force of a minus 13degree piercing gale.
Seconds later – he later said, it was on a bended kneed,
I said it was on two.
But on one or two, who cares how many knees it was?
All I know is that…he proposed.

And so as I stand before her;
pledging myself forever to one
who completes me,
I hear one song…and one only.
It’s the rhythm of our hearts as they beat a tandem
in celebration of our union,
in a language known by all
but unformed by man.

Composed by Sarah Udoh-Grossfurthner©
In honour of Mariam and Phillip’s wedding

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