Don’t Feed the Bear

Summer is when everything is at its peak: fruits and vegetables, nights filled with friends and gin and tonics and grilled fish and cool swims, trips whose suitcases come back filled with sand, bright clothes and bicycles, long days punctuated with popsicles. Summer is not the time for hibernation. No. Decidedly not. That would make no sense.

images-1And yet, I’ve had a sleeping bear within me these warm months. Nestled in a forest den, deep in the cool earth, trees keening in the wind. A bear with a lot on her subconscious mind, a bear that is doing the sleeping work of dreaming what’s next – that strange work that is somehow very easy and very difficult at the same time. And a bear that has chosen sleep over dealing with some things.

Not so long ago, and for not the first time, WHAM, out of nowhere, someone decided to sling an arrow straight to my heart. I used it as an excuse to hibernate, go dark, and worse, to separate myself from my true people, and avoid doing the work.

I don’t know why the people who are supposed to love you the most are able to sling the deadliest arrows, but sometimes they are. Crack shots. Ouch. And being the walking wounded is not fun. After licking my wounds, feeling sorry for myself, I had a small epiphany: maybe I wasn’t shot by this one person? Maybe I had forgotten why I am here, and instead, it was the Universe who poked the bear. Though it really, really hurt, today I woke up grateful for that nasty arrow. And woke up in general. I realized that making excuses because I keep getting hurt by someone who is too scared to do the right thing, means I am acting out of fear, too. Unacceptable.

This morning finds the bear out of bed, barefoot, in a flowered skirt, hair tangled, listening to towhees ask her to drink her tea, turning her face to the sun, stringing words together. She’s realized that Summer is here. She’s awake, ready to start again, though she’s a little slow to wake up, so might I offer just one piece of advice? Until she’s fed and healed, and showed you what’s what, please don’t feed the bear.