Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Post Where I Lose My Fear of Bears

Did I happen to mention that I love walking? I really, really, really, really like to walk. In fact, when I don't walk, I start to feel restless and listless and just generally blah.

Now, I always dreamed of moving to the country so that I could walk more. Living in the city was okay for walking but how much better to walk where you did not have to worry about muggers or criminal elements. 

Well, it is so ironic that since moving to the woods, my walking had gone down to almost nil. 
Why? Well ... bears. Fear of them, to be exact. 

We really do live in a forest, and this prairie girl has been more than a little nervous about going out into the deep woods to get her exercise. 

Well, yesterday, that all changed. We walked in the woods! And I did not feel afraid. Here are some pictures I took, just in case you don't believe me! ;)

The picture up above is me, ready for a walk in the woods. I can't seem to put captions on my photos, with my new them, so I will have to explain the pics in the text until I can figure out why I am having the caption problem.

First, we saw a little path into the woods. My husband went first, and tentatively followed, shouting at the top of my lungs, "here we come, bears! We are here!" Yes, I sounded like a crazy person.

And I couldn't believe how beautiful it was, and that I have been living five minutes away from this little paradise! It was so still (besides my insane shouting out the bears) and I thought that I had to find a way to be able to enjoy this beauty without being afraid.

So I started grilling my poor husband. "Do you think it's really dangerous," I asked him. 

"Not really, it's cottage country." 

"So, they won't come around because there are too many people?" I insisted. 

"No," he explained. 

And it makes sense. The bears tend to go where they are almost guaranteed to be left alone. These are brown bears, and I guess the grizzly bears are a different story. This was confirmed in our next conversation. 

While we were walking, we met some neighbours who live closer down to the lake. They were outside working on their yard, and I started grilling them, too, about bears. 

They were pros at this living in the woods business (three years out here) and said they had not seen a bear for two years. The first time, a bear came to the door soon after they moved in, but they believe it was because the house had sat empty for quite a while. When it saw them, it high-tailed it out of there.  

And the second time was when the owner had put out a bird-feeder. The bear was just on that! And it is well-known that you should never put birdseed in your yard during bear season. She found out why! 

"So, are you afraid of bears?" I asked them. 

"No," they explained. 

I brought up a recent bear mauling incident in Alberta, in the mountains, but the gentleman reminded us that those bears are grizzlies, and a whole different story. 

So, yesterday was the day that I lost my fear of bears, at least somewhat. I will still carry the bear spray my gorgeous husband bought me, and I will still sing and yell like a crazy lady in the forest, but I have to get out and walk in all that beauty! 

It's funny how fear can keep from so many things, isn't it? I am sometimes like a fear machine walking around, and I know that's not right. 

It reminded me of David, from the Bible. This famous story from the Bible had new meaning to me yesterday.  Bears and lions tried to attack his flock and he fought them off with a slingshot. He wasn't afraid of bears! 

And then, when something even scarier came along (like a giant!) he wasn't afraid of that, either. After yesterday, I feel a little braver for everything else in my life, too. Just a little, though, I am not asking for giants! 

And to end it off,  a couple more pictures of the walk. One of the pictures is of the dock by our house, and the other is a big piece of wood that sort of looks like a bear. 

What about you? Do you like to walk? Are there any things you are nervous about as you walk, or are you as brave as a bear? Have you recently overcome any fears? 

Tell us your stories! 

*All photos are my own creation. Written work and photos protected by copyright 2014.

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