Friday, September 7, 2012


A black bear standing
A black bear standing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I saw an Adirondack black bear for the first time a couple of weeks ago. In the western Adirondacks, on the way home from my daughter's college, it ran across the road in front of our car. Luckily there was plenty of space between the car and the bear and he (or she) got safely across. Watching the bear run, one thing came to mind - I will never, ever be able to outrun a bear.

According to this article in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, and some wildlife experts I know, the dry weather has lessened the bears' usual food supply and they are spending more time around people, looking for a tasty morsel in garbage cans, picnic baskets and even camping trailers. A few miles up the road, a woman had to chase a bear out of her car after she opened the car door then went back into her house for something she'd forgotten. I'm sure the stories will get wilder as the bears try to bulk up before winter hibernation.

I have a wonderful divination deck called Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals. The creators, Jamie Sams and David Carson, based the cards on the concept of medicine in the Native American way. Each card in the deck is a different animal and the accompanying book gives a lovely explanation of the animal's particular medicine and what it might mean when you pull that card. Whenever I encounter an animal for the first time, I make a point to read about it's medicine.

After the bear ran across the road, I discovered that bear's medicine, not surprisingly, is introspection. Hibernating in a cave during winter is a common metaphor for deep inner work and meditation. What's interesting is how much I've been drawn to that very thing lately.

This morning I drew a card and there was bear again, reminding me I need to spend more time looking inward if I want to achieve my hopes and dreams. I suspect more bears will be showing up in my life until I complete the necessary inner-looking. I only hope they stay out of my garbage.
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