When we arrived I parked the car. We got out and started walking towards the camper that was parked on the edge of the woods when a huge brown bear came around the front of the car and started to follow us. My grandma and mom went into the camper right away where they started cleaning and unpacking and doing whatever grandmas and moms do to make a place feel homey and alive.
I, on the other hand, did what I could to distract the bear. Nervously, I went back to the car. The bear just lumbered slowly after me. When it wouldn't leave I turned the car on, backed up, and honked like mad. Still, the bear was not phased by my shenanigans.
Finally, I went back to the camper, the bear following me all the way. But once inside I realized that the door wouldn't shut properly and kept falling open. As I tried over and over and over to shut it, the bear just stood outside looking in at me with his face pressed close to the door. As I reached for the handle he took my fingers in his mouth and gently pulled at me. He had this expression on he face like: "pleeease, either let me in or come out, but I just want to be with you." He acted as if he wanted to play or talk or something. I was so concerned about getting rid of the bear that it wasn't until I woke up that I realized how gentle he had been all along. He simply wanted my attention.
Inside the camper, Louis was laying on the bed with a stray puppy that had apparently been found under the mattress. They looked like long lost siblings lying side by side, kicking their legs at one another in a soft, playful sort of way.
* * * *
I woke up with a very interesting feeling--a gentle sort of realization. I can't quit put my finger on what that realization is, exactly. But it is a feeling, a sensation, a reminder to listen to those gentle tugs--even if they come from unexpected places.
After getting up, I looked up the meaning of the Bear and found that "the strength of Bear medicine is the power of introspection. . . .To accomplish the goals and dreams that we carry, the art of introspection is necessary." From the book of Medicine Cards I read:
"To become like Bear and enter the safety of the womb-cave, we must attune ourselves to the energies of the Eternal Mother, and receive nourishment from the placenta of the Great Void. The Great Void is the place where all solutions and answers live in harmony with the questions that fill our realities. If we choose to believe that there are many questions to life, we must also believe that the answers to these questions reside within us. Each and every being has the capacity to quiet the mind, enter the silence, and know.At the very beginning of Be Brave, I had a dream of a snake. Although I am horribly afraid of snakes, that dream was a catalyst for a lot of change in my life, causing a much needed shift in attitude. Dreaming of the Bear makes me realize that I have now entered another stage in the process of dreaming-myself-into-reality.
Many tribes call this pace of inner-knowing the Dream Lodge. . . .It is in the Dream Lodge that our ancestors sit in Council and advise us regarding alternative pathways that lead to our goals. This is the power of Bear.
In [dreaming about] Bear, the power of knowing has invited you to enter the silence and become acquainted with the Dream Lodge, so that your goals may become concrete realities. This is the strength of Bear."
I'm also realizing just how deeply this Be Brave journey has been ingrained into my thoughts, my actions, my dreams, my life.
This post could go on forever, but what I'm noticing is that this dream has given me a lot to think about. And so today I am going to honor that need by entering my own quiet place of hibernation. I'm going to turn off my computer, turn off my phone, and I'm going to spend the day in that quiet space within myself--painting.