Slowly approaching the clear water’s edge, from where we had been hiking, our jaws hit the ground and our eyes widened, as we stared at summer vs. winter. Sun from the east hit the glistening water, shimmering over the earthy brown floor that the water glided over. Reflected in the centre of the calm water is a looming mountain of gargantuan size, painted white with snow and ice, with small stripes of brown-black earth fighting through to the surface. To the right of the mountain is a smaller, brighter, more vibrant hill, built of green and blues, happily staring down at its charming reflection. Dumbstruck, gazing down the arc of lush landscape where the water meets the bottom of the two hills — and gated in by the snowy mountain into a valley — the reflection of Christmas trees sat on each snowy opposite of the summer hill, fighting head on in a silent, still battle of looks. The treacherous hike in sweaty clothes was worth it for sure!
Birds sing from the trees and bushes, and off in the distance bison, black bears, and bighorn sheep sound, with not a trace of human invasion. As my friend and I chatter about the potential of mountain lions, elk or wild horses gracing us with their presence, the evident lack of humankind in this immortal wildlife is stark.
The two sides (green and yellow vs. white and blue) pose and plead for our company; the nigh on impossible task of reaching a denouement to our internal war over where we should eat hardens. Choosing summer, we lay down the picnic blanket, slip our backpacks off, and sigh, taking in the clean, brisk air. Smells of salt and fresh grass fill our noses, mixing with the delicious food that we have brought. Now this…is bliss.