A little over 3 weeks ago, I packed up the car complete with picnic, canoe and ongoing inner dialogue about how and where I was going to pop the question to my honey. The destination was Waterton Lakes National Park, and when we arrived I was able to determine the good parts of the lake that were fairly calm due to lack of wind. In fact, it was a gorgeous calm day throughout the park.
We loaded the gear into the canoe and headed on down the lake until we came to a lovely beach. About 5 minutes after we unloaded our gear a power boat arrived on the scene, and whilst I though they would stay for only a few moments given there were other people on the beach (us!) and they had miles of other private beaches to use , they proceeded to drink wine, smoke cigarettes, take dips, play the radio and hang out!
I didn’t want to leave the spot so we made do eating our picnic lunch and skipping rocks until they finally left us. I knew I had to move quickly in case another intruder materialized, so I got down on one knee on the gravel beach, professed my love to my honey, and asked her to marry me! After a slight hesitation, she said yes…and very shortly after that she said…”Honey, there is a bear”…in a very calm matter-of-fact manner. I turned my head to the right and saw that indeed about 25 feet away was an adult black bear.
I told him to keep on moving, also in a calm relaxed tone, and motioned to him with my hand flexing the wrist as if to shoo him away. At the same time, I slowly started to gather things to re-load the canoe just in case. The bear responded in kind by nodding his head (I swear that’s what he did!), taking a few steps then squatting down to relieve himself on the beach of all the berries he had recently consumed. A few steps later and he decided to take a quick dip in the lake to refresh and perhaps clean himself off. Finally, he gave one last look and quietly went about his day.
Bear medicine giving blessings to this proposal and our future marriage? Absolutely!