A Perfect Autumn Day
Fallen leaves blanket the earth with a quilt of colour; rich reds, warm oranges, and bright yellows. Softly, they crunch underfoot, releasing an earthy scent that gently wafts in the chilled air.
Wagon rides to the orchard to pick crisp, juicy apples and a pumpkin or two. And then a stop at the bakery, warm and toasty, filled with the aroma of freshly baked goodies. A mouth-watering medley of apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar and the spicy fragrance of cider.
Corn mazes at dusk. Dressed in cosy sweaters, scarves, and mittens, our flashlights in hand to see in the looming darkness. Hoots of laughter as we scare each other. Cold and tired from our exertions we make our way to the exit. Hot chocolate awaits to warm cold hands. Heat rising to caress our red noses. Life is good under a starry, Fall sky.
Home to sit by a crackling fire wrapped in soft blankets. A shiver as the fire warms cold bones and a drowsy stupor overcomes all senses. Safely tucked up while the cold is banished to the dark outside. Feeling grateful and a little melancholy on a perfect Autumn evening.
Cub’s 1st Birthday
She was tiny, my cub. When I first held her, my heart filled with a love so strong I felt breathless. At 5+ pounds she was a wrinkled bundle of gangly arms and legs with a squashed nose. I thought she was perfection.
I held her briefly before handing her back to her father who followed the nurse to the newborn nursery and a waiting incubator. They inserted a feeding tube and placed her under a lamp to treat jaundice.
Less than 12 hours later her father returned to the hospital and we walked together to visit my cub in the nursery.
“If anyone tried to take her from me I would kill them,” I stated.
My instinct to protect her was as fierce as any mama bear. It was a visceral, gut-wrenching urge to keep her safe at any cost. As if a switch in my brain flipped from the sane and civilized to the primitive and animalistic. Suddenly, I didn’t feel so different from animals in the wild.
My Inner Mama Bear
Although this experience felt foreign and unique to me I know I’m not alone. Inside every good mother beats the heart of a fierce mama bear ready to protect her young. It is an instinctual love; fierce, primal, visceral.