I am writing from land that loves me as I am.
Inside, the log cabin’s walls weep, as do I. We have both been abandoned.
Outside, diversity reins as royalty – this forest helps me breathe more deeply. Every leaf glows, waving translucent hands. A multitude of shades of green. Sweet moist air fills my lungs, the music of rushing water calms my fears. The brook meanders towards the sea through unfurling ferns and wild sprigs of lily of the valley that are springing up under a woodland carpet, a pine – needled floor.
With each deep breath I pray to be re-united with the terrified body I left behind almost two years ago when I escaped into thin dry mountain air and fierce and deadly west winds to survive the snow.
At dusk last night for a timeless moment I became the snowy crabbapple while a few pearled petals drifted towards the ground – an early summer benediction.
When the baby bear lumbered up the path my heart split open. A few days earlier I listened to pitiful wailing from the white pine, the bear’s grief spilling over into my own. Eventually, the baby’s heartrending cries were answered by a casual mother who approached her youngster briefly. The yearling scrambled down the tree only to be left behind again as the mother strode across the grass on a quest of her own. I thought I was observing “family break up,” a normal black bear process, albeit a brutal one to witness.
After a four day absence the mother appeared with another adult bear, perhaps a future mate. The yearling was gone as I expected.
Tonight, the little bear I named Rosy Marie ambled up the path much to my bewilderment. She approached the seed can but seemed unable to open it, returning to the bird feeder to feast on sunflower seed that I had also scattered there.
I felt such relief seeing her. Perhaps the too little yearling would stay around to feed while mother and male companion were otherwise occupied mating?
It was almost dark and suddenly there were two bears feeding on scattered seed. Although one was larger than the other, both were yearlings. Shortly thereafter an adult, obviously the youngsters’ mother, appeared and opened the can before striking out on her own. No other adult bear emerged. I was baffled.
I wrote to bear biologist Dr. Lynn Rogers about this behavior and his response reassured me that “Family breakup can happen in many ways. Each bear has a different personality. I’m still learning. Your example is good to know. Looking forward to seeing you here. Lynn”
At this point I am grateful to have a bear story unfolding, just as I am thankful for these glorious fruit trees into whose blossoms I can almost disappear.
Trees and Bears – Wild Nature incarnates still.
The last three months have been psychically brutal; I have been walking on air. Perhaps the earth is round so that we don’t have to meet the future, face to face, except through dreams? Mine forecast the story I am presently living.
Two violent weeks of traveling across country, returning to ‘my’ beautiful land in crisis and in betrayal left me reeling. Like Rosy Marie who I hope will stay to be nourished by supplemental feeding so that she can develop into a bear who can survive fall hibernation (if she survives the hunter’s gun), I hope to find a place on this patch of earth to rest and re-attach myself to this abandoned body before moving on from here.