A Lover of Bears by Sara Wright


She’s a Lover of Bears.
A poet, a dreamer,
enamored by beaded eyes
black and brown fur,
rotund bellies.
Heartrending cries.
Grunts, moans and huffs –
She’s a Lover of Bears.

She knows that
a Universal Language
is spoken by bears.
Each nuance
and gesture deepens
a story that she
longs to share…
She’s a Lover of Bears.

She slides
into a secret dimension –
slips through the veil into
thick green forest
where Bears
make their living,
make love,
dig dens,
have cubs,
sleep deeply and well,
live out their
days
in relational
Peace.
She’s a Lover of Bears.

(If bears ruled the world
there would be no wars.
No wonder
She’s a Lover
of Bears!)

She dreams of them
in between the cracks
of the anguish
she feels
over the haunting
that overcomes
her each fall –
Too many will die
to become a rug
on the wall –
A snarling trophy
for
those
who must kill
for the high,
to feel
their own
life blood pulsing.

She yearns for
the sight of raggedy coats,
sleek new coats,
fur dipped in cool waters,
acorned – hazelnut fat bears,
each facial expression
so ancient with knowing…

She’s a Lover of Bears
who enter her heart – body
to be received
like a prayer.

She wants to climb
into those arms
to be held like a child,
Loved like a woman.

She’s a Lover of Bears.

8/10 /19

 

Working notes:

I recently attended a Black Bear Course at the Wildlife Research Institute in Ely Minnesota. Although I have been enamored by, and have studied Black bears for 20 years nothing prepared me for this total immersion into the bear experience.

To visit with so many wild bears in a place where humans choose to co-exist with bears was a revelation. I have never felt such peace being in the company of bears. For the most part these shy intelligent animals are allowed to live out their lives on their own terms (except for the fall hunting season that lasts six weeks, during which time any of these animals can be shot).

I was literally catapulted into another dimension, a timeless world in which only the bears, the Founder of the Wildlife Research Center, bear biologist Lynn Rogers, and I existed. Oddly, I experienced the other nine participants through a peculiar kind of haze.

Lynn’s groundbreaking trust based research challenges every fear based person and state wildlife agency’s “killer bear” concept in concrete ways, proving that bears and humans can co –exist peaceably.

Lynn thoughtfully answered so many of my questions and of course generated hundreds more. Although we have corresponded for about 15 years I had never met my mentor and friend until last week.

Returning to Maine I am confronted by the reality that our Maine bears are being lured to bait sites as I write these words. A three-month long hunting season will begin before the end of this month.

As a ‘Lover of Bears’ I feel this grief on a visceral level, but this year it has been tempered by this extraordinary experience that is open to anyone who wants to learn about these amazing animals.

Please visit www.Bear.org for information on courses,  Lynn’s extensive research papers, daily updates, and to learn about the North American Bear Center.

 

Sara is a naturalist, ethologist ( a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Northern New Mexico.



Categories: Activism, animals, Ecofeminism, Women's Voices

Tags: , , ,

10 replies

  1. Why would anyone want to kill a bear. And doesn’t luring them bait take all of the “fun” such as it is out of it. What a world we live in!!!

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  2. Good question. I would answer it by saying that men like to kill animals – especially animals they are afraid of. And the State wildlife agencies backed by powerful special interest groups like the NRA promote the “killer bear”concept to bring in revenue. Hunters as a group no longer hunt ethically and almost none hunt these animals for food – They primarily slaughter peace loving bears for trophy on the wall.

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  3. Ohmygosh! I have goosebumps reading this. I’m so happy for you that you’ve had this experience. Such joy! Such revelation. Do you feel now, like you want to bring such a program to Maine? Could it be possible? Such is the stuff of dreams. And what a beautiful poem. Thank you!

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  4. I have been a black bear advocate/educator/ researcher for thirty years. I tried to give the program from WRI/Bear.org here in Maine (to adults) with discouraging results. When I tried to take it into the schools NOT ONE elementary or secondary school would take it. This is a FREE educational program – this gives you the idea of how much Mainers do NOT want to change the story. I managed to show it to a small (maybe 20 persons) -group at the Mahoosuc Land Trust – supposedly the conservation group in this area – and they wouldn’t even show it in an auditorium – Now I have my own program that I have developed and will be giving it in New Mexico this fall – but here in Maine – forget it. I learned the hard way this state is a lost cause.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara, this poem and your notes made me cry. I hate bear hunting. I grew up mostly in Maine, and I understand that hunting is integral to the culture. Rabbit and deer hunting don’t bother me, nor lobster fishing etc. But bear hunting is horrible in every way. I was told by someone that in the book Sapiens, it says that whenever humans arrived at a new continent, they hunted all the huge mammals (mammoths etc) to extinction within 1000 years. Sometimes it just seems to me that our species is inherently flawed, even though we are also inherently divine. Bless your work and advocacy. <3 <3

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      • Oh Gosh Trelawney I am so grateful for your comment – bear hunting does have to be experienced before the full horror penetrates… these animals are peace – loving – shy – and the only time one gets press is if it ends up at a backyard feeder.

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  5. Thank you for sharing your love for bears, for the moving poem and for the photograph. The Shawangunk Ridge and the Catskills are home to many black bears. Much of the mountainous areas are preserved, but human habitation goes right up to the edge and is fairly dense, so human and bears often encounter each other. I looked up hunting season here and was sad to see that it goes from mid September to early December with various restrictions on what human weaponry can be used. I will keep the bears in my prayers, here, in Maine, and wherever they are threatened by humans. Thank you again for your love and advocacy!

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  6. Thanks Sara — regards “A Lover of Bears,” I found this comment online — so wonderful to read, and it said the following —

    “Theodore Roosevelt refused to kill an American black bear that had been tied to a tree, deeming it unsportsmanlike. The sight was memorialized in a cartoon in The Washington Post — a scene that became both the inspiration for the “teddy bear” and the frontier of a new way of thinking about bears.”

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  7. Yes, he at least was in touch with the ideal of “fair chase” but the man still shot anything he could.

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  8. Thank you for this beautiful poem and post. It is so very important to re-learn how to coexist with these amazing kindred creatures.

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