By Jonah Kondro
I’ve had a lot of excellent experiences this summer. I could likely write a fair amount on all my travels, laughs, and comedic hiccups that I endured throughout the warm days of the June, July, and August.
In and amongst all the motorcycle miles that were accumulated, I found time to venture on a midsummer camping mission. There were six of us in a conjoined site, just west of Trochu, in the river valley at the Tolman Bridge (east) Campground. My friends shared an important collective realization during that weekend trip in July.
During the first night, once the sun had sufficiently set, our group was a little drunk and a little restless. It was decided that we all should go check out the river. We stood on the eastern banks of the Red Deer River and looked up at the stars. Our attention was diverted to a car that came to the boat launch on the west bank.
The couple who came out of the car were oblivious to our presence on the other side of the river—and remained oblivious to us even after we all hooted, howled, growled, and barked like mad dogs on the banks. When our cries went unnoticed, we stopped acting like wild animals.
The couple stood close to one another and seemed to be entranced with the night sky. Someone from my group quietly spoke, “it looks like they are having one of those life moments.”
Our group seemed to know that the couple were in a moment that would become (for them) a cherished memory of an evening spent gazing into the sky. Our group has been a group since the dawn of time: the majority of us have been friends since elementary school. We all have had our share of life’s moments together—the ones that fall under the category of unforgettable instances in life.
Another person in our group spoke while we simply stood on the banks watching the people on the other side: “life moments, watched by a team of people.” It sounded like a slogan. Our group had a collective epiphany. We began to converse over the strange realization that some of our group’s scared moments may have been silently observed from a distance, just like how we were all witnessing a couple have their own moment. Our group was jarred at the notion that the memories we mutually experienced may share ownership with outsiders.
We left the banks of the river and returned to the campsite. The rest of our evening was spent stringing together fragments of philosophical knowledge. My group felt like we had been an sideshow audience to the couple on the other side of river—but for all we knew some group could have been watching us while we sat around the fire deliberating and contemplating.