A year ago this week we went to Banff National Park in Albert Canada. It was a beautiful place, one that we all agreed we would like to return to again. On one hike, to Boom Lake, we only encountered a few people on the trail. No, it was not social distancing but the remote nature of the place that kept people few and far between. Even among our five family members, at times we had at least six feet of space.
After five miles of hiking, in the quietness of a forested mountain trail, arrival at the lake revealed only a few families and couples that had gotten there before us. There was plenty of room to claim our own spot and stay away from others.
But, did we? Well, no, actually we didn’t, not for the entire Boom Lake visit, anyway. Upon our arrival to the rocky shoreline that looked out over the lake filled with ice-cold Canadian mountain water trickling down from some majestic snow-capped peaks, we stayed unto ourselves as a family unit for only a short time.
Humans are meant to interact, are we not? It always amazes us that on each trip we eventually end up connecting with another couple or family. This was the case at Boom Lake.
After stepping on to the rocks at the lakeshore, we left the solitude of the forest behind.
We joined others, who like us, walked to the lake. There were no parking lots. No traffic. No noise. Just the mountains, the water, the rocks, green vegetation, and a few people besides us.
Even now I can feel the restorative properties that mountain hike provided. Two of our sons and my husband swam in the ice-cold water that even on a hot August day was just above freezing. It was so cold, it took their breath away.
Onlookers, consisting primarily of another family from Colorado, cheered and clapped as they each member my family waded back onto shore to dry off and warm up. We need other humans. Just like we need trees, water, and the beautiful nature to sustain us.
Right now, I think this is an important thing to consider. We are all fearful when we are out. We eye each other suspiciously as if a look can determine who might or might not be sick and hiding symptoms of illness behind their mask. More likely, there is a smile, a friendly word of hello, or wish for a good day. Our humanity makes us special beings. Let’s not lose the ability to appreciate the company of others…other humans….just like us.