Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Great Smoky Mountain Getaway (Part 2)

As I write these lines, I'm listening to reports of tornado warnings.

As I write these lines, a black bear is roaming neighborhoods in Greensboro.

Have I mentioned that I was terrified to see a bear in the mountains?  Have I mentioned that I stopped calling them by name in order not to conjure their presence?  Have I mentioned that I would not hike or camp in a tent?   After all of that, I did not see one big dark hairy mammal in bear country.

Instead, I came home to the above photo on the front page of our city newspaper. 

Although I was a little alarmed at first, I am now simply tired of being afraid.  It's strange how much energy one expends on fear.  This poor bear, who has been treated like a rock star, must be nervous due to the attention he's getting.  At the last sighting, people with young children crowded around the tree he was resting in as if they were in a zoo.  Police asked these people to leave, but they stood snapping pictures instead.  

Since they have labeled him as "not aggressive," nothing is being done to remove him.    

What a nice bear.

He must be the only bear in the world without the potential to be aggressive.   

I don't mean to be sarcastic. It's just that I don't like to be forced to face my fears.  I have a difficult time accepting that it's necessary to be uncomfortable in order to grow.

I used to say that I'm not afraid of anything.  As time moves forward, I'm losing my invincibility illusions.  This leaves me to wonder if  I'm wise or weak.

It took some courage for me to go into the mountains and to walk on leafy paths. Yet because I faced my fears, our trip was a weekend I'll remember forever.  Especially the day we walked behind this waterfall.

There was magic in the air, in the water.  I haven't seen Richard so happy in such a long time.  It makes me realize that a happy marriage begins with happy people.   I recently asked myself  "what is the most wonderful thing that could happen to my husband?"        

It was freedom. 

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