Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Without Bear

The sun still rises each day from behind the mountain beyond the trees outside our bedroom window and sets each evening behind the mountain beyond the trees outside our other bedroom window.

There is still oatmeal bubbling on the stove every morning and tea poured, steaming, into mugs.

There is still peanut butter on toast and a Kong spit out at my feet and cats stomping around, indignant and demanding food.

There is still drool on the floor in great hazardous puddles and dripped quietly onto socked feet.

There are the sounds of thick claws clipping across wooden floors and heavy footfalls thumping up and down the stairs.

Big brown eyes still bore into the back of my head, imploring me to go outside, hot breath wafts in my direction off the end of a long pink tongue.

There are still walks in the woods and games of stick and sunlight slanting through trees just so.

There are still ravens, black as night, following our progress on the trail, wheeling overhead and calling to each other in their deep varying voices.

The wind still cuts a path through the trees like a current moving swiftly through the ocean.

Leaves still crinkle underfoot.

Snow still melts quietly in the shadows.

There are still blue skies and scudding clouds and mountains outlined behind skeletal trees that are starting to bud and will soon become a canopy of green.

There are warm breezes to send grasses rustling and kick up swirls of leaves from last season.

There are still icy cold puddles in the woods and chewed up sticks scattered amongst the trees.

There is still a comforting warmth from the sun on the deck in the afternoon and golden light on shiny black fur.

The woods are still alive with raucous birds and chittering squirrels and tiptoeing deer and rabbits changing from white to brown.

There are still noses pressed up against windows and loud barking alarms to be sounded and howling laments to be sung.

There are parades at breakfast and suppertime, stampedes for bowls of food.

There are rafts of fur collecting in corners and floating on currents of air across floors.

In the evening there are long sighs and meaningful glances alluding to the great adventures that are still to be had.

There are ears to be flapped and cheeks to be pinched and foreheads to kiss.

There are still all of these things.

But everything is different.


  1. That was beautifully written. Thank you.

  2. You still wonder, you still feel, you still dance, you still see the natural world so rich and colourful around you Heather, but I know exactly what you mean when you write, "But everything is different." The strength, the affecting emotional power of that last thought hits me only because it follows such wonderfully sublime imagist poetry which, in full brush stroke, vividly paints your domestic and natural landscape, a landscape that once held Bear. Though gone and missed beyond words, her very "bearness" is very much with you, Heather. Once again, look above read the immeasurable beauty of your own words. See what I mean? Your writing is Bear; her head will always be in your lap and in your heart. The world is indeed different, and that is true for us all.

    Heather, there is a universality in your art, as well as a spontaneous beauty, that I've always appreciated.

    1. You're right, her "Bearness" is very much with us all the time and she is missed so, so missed. Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. I know! I know! You have been in my thoughts. And I think about Boscoe every day. It's been almost 18 months. It's a hard thing to get beyond.

    1. Yes. Because you expect them to just be there when you turn around, like they've been on vacation or something and now they've returned. The whole thing just sucks.

  4. The spaces between the linesJanuary 14, 2017 at 11:54 AM

    Cruising into the almost 4 years since you were here Bear and I miss you more today than the minute you were gone. On most days I wake up angry and resentful you are gone and the other four animals that we have are still here. Their shadows just remind me that you are gone. Sometimes I forget for a moment, perhaps an hour or two. But my tea today still tastes flat, some of my mornings lack the hello I need to feel whole.

    However I cannot lay in the darkness and wait for the day that we are together again. I have gotten back in the race long ago, and somewhere along the way I just wandered off on my own in my grief. Going through the motions and faking the whole affair lost without my guide, my spirit rider, my baby Bear.

    But today I slowed down and rested in the fact I am probably the most fortunate dude in the world to have Heather in my life. I had been so busy filling my life with work and distraction to try and go on without you Bear.

    I am in the race, back up on my bike and I will ride towards the sun to find you dear sweet Bear.I will do my best to rejoin the pack we have here and hug you as we go. Bear did not live disengaged, or in half measures nor will I.

    I'm going to go sit in my jeep today and look over my shoulder :)