Thursday, 24 October 2013

Bear-foot

I’m listening to the river
My truck is far away.
I hear splashing.
I’ve done this enough to know the sound...
On the other side of the log pile 
a Grizzly Bear is catching a Salmon.
It’s a Kokanee, 
a tiny little fish compared to to its anadromous relatives,
but the Grizzly is a big one, 
fully grown with stout boxy features characteristic of a male, fur the color of raw chocolate, and light guard hairs that give him the appearance of being haloed in silver. I’m close enough to hear fish bones crunching in his mouth but I feel safe. My scent is blowing downstream, away from him, and for a long time he is unaware of my presence until he turns toward me–feeling me close to him. 
There is the timeless span where our eyes meet and we both process what we see
No hostility. 
Just a deep sense of peace. He issues a stress relieving "Hmmph," from his chest that I feel in my gut as he turns away and shambles up the riverbank. 

“Thank you, thank you,” I say reverentially, then take off my shoes and leave them behind to follow his trail, barefoot in the sand.