Darren and I sat on the covered porch at Moraine Lake Lodge, sipping tea while we watched hikers scramble for cover from a sudden downpour. It had been a lovely day in the wilderness, but I was suddenly struck by how many people there were out here with us!
Moraine Lake is a gorgeous glacier fed lake in the Rocky Mountains, in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. The view is so lovely that for years it was featured on the back of the Canadian $20 bill. When we switched from paper money to the newer, more secure plasticky stuff they changed the picture. I miss this one, but I live close enough that I can come see the real thing when I choose to.
It’s also very accessible. As we sip our tea, the paved trail hosts hard core hikers with poles and packs (heading for the more challenging trailheads), a middle aged woman pushing her mother in a wheelchair, children scampering after the overly friendly chipmunks and many dog walkers with happy, happy dogs (on leashes).
As much as I enjoy the quiet of nature, I find myself enjoying the people too… all of them smiling, snapping photos and enjoying the fresh air – all seem strangely alone in their thoughts but together in their enjoyment. Of course, I’m spoiled as we’ve opted to stay at the lodge onsite so can enjoy the quiet of our surroundings before and after the army of tour buses roll in for the day. Over the years I’ve discovered that spending our nights ‘on location’ suits me better than staying off site and just visiting.
As we stroll back to our room in the little cabin a few doors down from the main lodge, we stop and offer to take a photo of a young couple visiting from Seattle. They were momentarily surprised and perhaps a little nervous to hand over their camera to a friendly stranger but really, where could I go with it? Sandwiched as we were between a mountain and a turquoise lake they smiled and let me snap a couple photos of them while we shared where we were each from. I handed back their camera and quietly hoped I’d added a small part to the pleasure of their day – as they had to mine.
It’s tough as a mom to teach my daughters how to walk that fine line… Don’t talk to strangers girls, but please don’t shut yourself off from humanity either.
Be safe, but don’t live your life in fear.
Be friendly and kind but not gullible or naïve.
Gosh it’s hard. But it’s worth it. I hope. Heh.