The other night, toward dusk, I heard heavy footsteps coming down the walk toward my front door, and looked up from my computer just in time to see a black bear peering in.
I say “peering in,” but that’s not really accurate. What it did was, it kind of sidled up to the door and pressed its large and expressive nose against the screen for a few seconds, without looking directly in. No doubt if it had looked in, it would’ve had a hard time making sense of the jumble of right angled, brightly colored objects.
It wasn’t a large bear, just a yearling, and it didn’t stick around to visit. It was probably the same animal whose blueberry-filled scat I had discovered on the driveway that morning.
There isn’t much to say about such an encounter, really. But I was reminded of it this morning when I was awoken by a single, loud clap of thunder around 2:00. As I drifted back to sleep, I remember thinking something along the lines of, One side sings continual hosannas, the other side recites cautionary tales in a deadening drone.
What I think I meant was, every act is unique and unrepeatable – or so it seems to the angels. Against the angels I picture not devils but pedants, functionaries and technicians reminding us that the sun also riseth and vanity of vanities. But I may also have had some more private idea in mind.
I like the way black bears always seem to be grinning.