“I listened, motionless and still; And, as I mounted up the hill, The music in my heart I bore, Long after it was heard no more – William Wordsworth
The poem reverberated in my head as I stood riveted on the shores of one of heaven’s earthly creations. Nothing seemed to disturb the silent music in my heart as I took in unbelievable vistas that seemed too real to be true. Indeed a visit to this part of the globe was blessed with bracing weather that co-operated to the fullest, despite the start of early, heavy snowfall.
High altitude wonders
The imposing Canadian Rockies form an important geographical and ecological blessing for western Canada’s natural topography and nature’s largesse is evident in several key locations across the vast region it inhabits. Driving through the panoramic Icefields Parkway from ski destination Banff in Alberta through verdant pine and spruce forestland and staggering peaks, I was awed by the sheer dimensions of each massive landmass and pristine water bodies that are in ecological harmony since millennia.
The pretty and compelling Bow Falls just outside Banff town presents an environment of tranquil peace and stillness, well tended golf course acres adding an eye-soothing green canvas that stretches along the resultant Bow river ahead.
Further up the inclines into the Banff National Park, Bow Lake commands vistas with aplomb, the faultless reflections of mighty peaks creating a multidimensional spectrum of frames that compel you to stay riveted with admiration. The glacial lake with changing tones over the seasons is a deeply inspiring locale and for a good amount of valuable time I absorbed the beauty of the water body with wonder.
A vast canvas of nature’s creations
This snow clad mountain region is famed for its Alpine glacial lakes surrounded by coniferous woodlands and scores of interesting hiking and trekking trails. What magnetizes visitors here are the breathtaking, jaw dropping vistas that change tones by the day and seasons. In all their glory these lakes are like none other on earth.
In spring and summer the region attracts outdoor freaks who revel in canoeing, mountain climbing, rappelling, camping and picnicking but autumn and winter sees a different breed of high altitude mavericks who spend days up on the slopes exploring hidden recesses of the Rockies in different ways. Their choice is the vast snowscapes that stretch for miles above these lakes and the icy sporting activities that abound.
Aqua magic and lofty peaks
I stood still by the rocky embankment of this stunningly surreal mirrored, water body, the fluorescence of deep emerald, turquoise and hints of Prussian dazzling my eyes. It was Lake Louise. The prettiest, most beautiful lake in the entire world, I had ever beheld in front of me. Wordsworth’s lines came alive here. Snow-draped cliff sides and towering summits paid obeisance to the still, pristine cradle of aquatic brilliance beneath them, one that they replenished ceaselessly round the year for centuries.
A few minutes’ drive into thickly wooded pine overgrowth iced with fleeting snowflakes brought me to the lap of another ephemeral water scape. Smaller, more assertive in nature’s glorious colors, Lake Moraine was even more beautiful in its compact environment. A massive and mighty avalanche years ago piled up gargantuan boulders and cliff sheaths right into the fringe of the lake below, trekkers making the most of their quest for unknown and unseen adventures in the smaller peaks that were created.
Lake Moraine effuses mind-calming energy, a live positivity and magnetic allure I have never experienced in any place. On the wide jetty outcrop that rested several bright canoes, I sat myself for a while as I stared into the reflections of nature’s changing perfections that Man could never ever aspire to replicate. Though few wide eyed folks walked around, the silence and chill air added a touch of overwhelming gravity that lured me into the visual depths of this spectacular environment. I felt instantly revived and reborn.
Mind and body rejuvenation
It would truly be an unfortunate being who would be unmoved or untouched by the all-pervading and blessed magnanimity of nature’s offerings in divine places like these. I felt privileged and for a moment proud that mind and body cleansing accrued in me through realization of a lot of truths that rarely emanate in ordinary circumstances. It needed the ethereal, ephemeral and enlightened surrounds of these God bestowed hideaways that we must seek to understand our true selves.
Driving through the scenic Icefields Parkway highways to other serene lakes like Hector Lake, Herbert Lake and Waterfowl Lake (where I stopped by to engage in some ‘pranayama’), I felt a sense of completeness and deep contentment. I was glad I had come. And I had discovered. As the snowfall tightened its grip that night, I stared out of my room window in Banff as mellow glows lit up the snowflakes like fireflies in the cold dark. My goblet of robust red wine added warmth to that reassuring feeling I still nurture.