Day 47 August 11, 2001
A take my breath away moment, seeing Lake Louise for the first time.
As I stood at the edge of the lake, very engaged in gawking with my mouth open, a ranger with a survey on a clipboard saw my potential as an extremely positive statistic. “Would you considered this the most beautiful place you have ever seen?” she asked.
My answer surprised me. “No” I said.
“What do you consider as the most beautiful place you have ever seen?
“My backyard.” I replied.
The ranger scribbled something down and thanked me. Maybe not the answer she wanted but for me it was the truth. My backyard is the most beautiful place in the world because it is home. It holds me in its arms and give me peace like no other place on earth. I’m safe there. I love traveling but going home is pretty wonderful, too. A few more days north in the Canadian Rockies and then homeward bound.
I met Jack and Henny back at the campgrounds. They were from the Netherlands and invited me to hike with them the next day to The Tea House on top of one of the mountains. I thanked them and we arranged to meet in the morning.
I thought about how much the kindness of strangers had helped my dreams come true this summer, wonderful people who with simple gestures took the fear out of my journey. It is a good world. Yes, there are curt people who don’t take the time to look into the warmth of others’ hearts. I discovered that I was more likely to find this attitude in places of conspicuous consumption, where objects are more important than people.
Our smiles, kind words, open postures, helpfulness, non threatening questions, and genuine interest in people have a ripple effect on our immediate environment and the world.
Another great day. My heart is smiling.