20" x 16" / acrylic on canvas / 2009 / sold
Dream of the Great Bear #4
I hear and feel the crunching of the crisp autumn leaves underneath me as they are pressed into the moist, dark earth by the step of my foot. The trees that surround me have released almost all of their summer glory and are slowly slipping into the slumber that comes on the breath of winter’s arrival. The Sky above me hangs in a grey veil that moves like a sheer fabric across the face of the Sun. The wind carries a long and cool kiss that moves across the landscape and causes the leaves to dance above the surface of the ground. his kiss carries the smell and sound of all that it moves through and around.
I do not need to turn around to see its physical form. I sense it. The Bear cub is walking with me. We are in this together, the cub and I. We are both in this place of in-between seasons. When the dream begins, we are on the edges of this forested land. Although I have not seen it, I know that we have come from an open and exposed meadow that lies just on the edge, above the ridge of the land that we are slowly entering and descending into. Each step that we take is soft and slow. There is a feeling of reverence and caution in our movements. Despite our
gentle manner, our arrival is announced by the voice of the leaves as they are returned to the soil from which their life began, and by the wind picking up our scent and carrying it on the exhalation of a long kiss.
With each footstep that I take, I become part of the leaves, the soil, the kiss of the wind. As I begin to merge with the forces and life that are around me, my senses, perception, and way of knowing also begin to shift. I see what I had previously been incapable of seeing. A pile of leaves is moving to reveal the fur that covers the head of a Bear. I turn to begin maneuvering my way back up the slope of the forest and to the safety that I believe awaits me in the open meadow. The Bear cub has also noticed that we are not alone. It will follow my decision; it will follow my lead. As I slowly begin making my way to the ridge, I see that leaves are moving all around me. There is not just the one Bear emerging from the soil, but many. I wonder if we are slowly being surrounded by awakening Bears or if they have been there all along and only now am I capable of seeing them. I walk among and between them. I am not afraid and yet I do not choose to stay. I continue walking to the ridge. The wood, Bears, leaves, and dream dissolve before I ever see the open meadow.