Or I think there could have been. I’m not sure. What I do know, something was making a lot of noise in one of my trees, climbing up, then back down, then moving to another one. It wasn’t a squirrel or a family of them. The movement was too labored and methodical up and down the trunks; not scurrying all over the place on the outer limbs.
And there is a bear loose in our area.
A 200 lb. black bear has made his way from the North Carolina foothills to less than 20 miles south of here – at least that’s the latest place he’s been spotted. He’s moved quickly so finding his way to my woods wouldn’t take long at all. The Department of Natural Resources says lone male black bears often wander hundreds of miles from their territory, just rambling, as they follow a creek bed or river. We have one of those.
I feel a kinship to the bear at the moment. Six months ago I announced to friends that I was going into a six-month hibernation – a time to rest. I left all my critique groups but the poetry. I stepped away from my Rowdy Readers, a group I’ve met with for over 25 years. I stopped my monthly lunch with my Cowgirls, a trio of friends who’ve been with me for those same 25 years. And I’ve been away from here.
Hibernation is a time for animals to sleep off the fat they accumulated months before, then emerge hungry. I went into this period full from boards, meetings, groups, events and workshops. It was time to close myself off from all that and rest. And it was lovely.
I spent the first couple of months reading some great books. I’ll be writing about them here, along with some author interviews. I spent months redoing my flower beds – wait until you see what that entailed! I planted a veggie garden for the first time in 15 years – so excited! I met some interesting people connected with interesting places. I can’t wait to introduce you.
And I wrote. And wrote. And wrote. I have several projects in the works and hope to share news of some of them here soon.
And now the hibernation is over. I promised I really would return to the land of the living July 1st, and here it is…already. The time has gone quickly. I am hungry, I’ve missed my friends, and I look forward to posting again regularly.
I think most of us could benefit from a little hibernation. One of the many lessons I learned was I need to protect my boundaries and not overfeed. So I’ll be a little like the bear in my woods – because I’m choosing to believe he was there – and ramble around a bit until I find where I’m comfortable. While I do that, I’ll reopen A Writer’s Window and hope you’ll join me.
And for those who appreciate symbolism like I do, the Native American symbology for bear is ~ healing, divinity, invulnerability. Sounds like the fruits of hibernation.