Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Bear and Me

In a dream a husband, friend, and I are working in the woods. We're clearing debris under the forest canopy piling branches and leaves into large mounds. As it happened all three of us were close to one of the mounds about the same time. The friend reached the mound first and then another person approached from the opposite direction. But I noticed the other person was not a person at all; it was a large black bear. I tried to warn the friend but I was too late. The bear stood upright showing his enormous size and the friend suddenly disappeared.

Then the bear chased the husband off through the trees. As they ran out-of-sight, I felt a bit of relief for my safety. But after a short while I heard the bear coming back, crashing through the woods. Knowing I couldn't outrun the bear I decided to climb a tree. I ascended the tree wrapping my arms and legs around the rough bark. I climbed up little by little like an inch worm. I went as high as I could and remained quiet; I was sure the bear was looking for me.

Below I saw the bear approaching looking from side to side. He was looking through the trees and around the mounds scattered about. Just when I thought the bear would pass me by, the bear glanced up and stopped short. The bear quickened it's pace and chose to climb a tree about three feet from the tree I had climbed. The bear ascended it's tree quickly almost to my level.  I thought about climbing down and trying to make a run for it but I knew the idea was futile. I gathered my courage and decided all I could do was face the bear.

The bear climbed even higher, till his head was level with mine. I knew the bear could reach out and easily grab me. I saw long claws on the ends of his paws. I imagined being torn apart and eaten. I looked into the eyes of the bear and the bear looked into mine. Immobile with fear, my life passed before my eyes. Amazingly the bear began speaking to me. The bear spoke to me in words I could understand. At first I didn't believe my ears; I clung to the tree mesmerized.

After a while I began speaking to the bear in words he could understand. We spoke to each other for a very long time. Years of hope and fears passed between us and slowly we began to know each other. Amazingly, the bear and I became fast friends high in the tree sharing our thoughts and desires. I wondered how such an unlikely pair could become friends. But somehow the friendship didn't seem strange, it seemed wonderful, believable, and natural to me.

After exchanging a lifetime of thoughts between us, the bear and I descended our trees and we parted as friends. We went back to our lives but I was sure we'd meet again. As I walked away I glanced back with a tiny doubt in my mind, wondering if we met again, we'd meet as friends. Having experienced all I had in my life, that small doubt lingered in me. As I walked along I wondered if a small doubt lingered in my new friend the bear.

© Linda Starr, text and image


  1. Such a great story of perhaps finding your totem. Bear must be there for you.I have crow as my totem; crow came to me at 50 and has been there for 21 years guiding me. I hope bear brings you friendship, courage and understanding.Joan Good luck with the house.

  2. I think you are facing your fears (the bear) only to find that there is nothing to fear after all.

  3. Wonderful insights to your dream...which can only be defined by yourself. If it were my dream, bears might mean something else. I would sure like having that conversation. When you get a chance give me some lavender advice (my plant is on my header now, and isn't doing too well.)

  4. What a wonderful (and fascinating) dream. And how much I would love to be able to speak to the animals in a language they could understand.

  5. Bears are healers, also strong.......your dream sounds like a gift. Wonderful! Would be interesting to see if you could call the bear back.....

  6. I think the commenter above is right: you've found your totem, a strong one that heals. What a fab gift!

  7. I think Dee hit the nail on the head. Thanks for sharing.

  8. ah, yes, leaving the past and walking into a new life, a new adventure.
    Merry Christmas!

  9. Hi Joan, thanks, sometimes I am amazed at how real my dreams are and thankful I can remember some of them to write them down. I too have thought of the crow as my totem for the past twenty years but perhaps I am moving to a new one I must reflect on this. For years I have done a dancing crow imitation, once to the chagrin of my nephew in a restaurant. Ha.

    Hi Dee, thanks perhaps you are right, sometimes it is much better to face some fears in a dream than in person.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, yes there is much to interpret in this dream. I'll stop by to suggest something about your lavender.

    Hi Elephant's Child, thanks, yes to speak to animals in voices each can understand would be wonderful, sometimes though the subtle indications from animals can be picked up by us humans.

    Hi Sandy, thanks, well I love the idea that a bear is healer; it would be very interesting if I can call the bear back; I will see what happens. I feel like I have had a dream with bears in it before but cannot recall what it was, perhaps the bear will come back again.

    Hi Kittie, thanks, I feel like I have two totems now, the crow or raven and the bear, I am truly lucky.

    Hi Michele, thanks, sometimes my dreams are so realistic I must write them down to relish and remember the time.

    Hi Meredith, thanks, yes so much to learn, to do, that I want to do and it seems, so little time.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment