Saturday, August 27, 2016

Can You See the Bear?


It is there, though well hidden. Moments before, the bear had lumbered casually across the road in front of me and my mother, as we rode along the country road. It had come from a blueberry field and was returning to the woods.

I had commented to my friend earlier that morning that a bear theme has emerged in my life.

On my walks this spring and summer I repeatedly passed bear dens. I felt sure I would encounter one but, I'm glad I didn't.


This summer, while hiking when there had been little rain for a lengthy period, and after coming across dry creek, after dry creek, I was forced to go to the only watering hole I knew of that would contain water for my thirsty dog. I had to carry the dog through berry thickets and was certain we'd meet with a thirsty bear family then, but did not.

That day I discovered a path out that lead to someone's yard, and then a main road. I had my husband pick us up. I wasn't going to hang around the watering hole too long.

I knew bears were nearby.

Then one day when crossing the swamp of fresh rain, something ran (or possibly tumbled) down the steep hill toward us and stopped behind a tree about fifteen feet away. Ribsy finally moved and spooked it and it ran off, but I saw thick black haunches in a brief sunlit clearing, and thought, they very well could have belonged to a young bear.

I felt prepared, somehow, but was glad not to get too close, if it was a bear. I took a shortcut home.

Two days ago, I came across a few piles of bear droppings right at the edge of our path into the woods, which confirmed their nearby presence.

Then yesterday, the bear encounter while driving. I wasn't quick enough to snap it on camera as a car passed me and scared it. I had pulled over, and it was on the opposite side of the road, it went in to the forest as the car sped past. I could still see the bear, but my iPhone 5s could not pick it up.

If you look in the center of the photo you will notice a darkened area--a tad to the left--that is the bear. It sat and looked at us for a minute then headed home.

“Mother Nature is our teacher—reconnecting us with Spirit, waking us up and liberating our hearts. When we can transcend our fear of the creatures of the forest, then we become one with all that is; we enter a unity of existence with our relatives—the animals, the plants and the land that sustains us.”
     {Sylvia Dolson, Joy of Bears}