We are home tonight after a wonderful four days of much-needed relaxation and celebration in Homer. Relaxation after and before a busy summer (with weeks of travel ahead of us and weeks behind us), celebration of Yukon's conquering the 50th birthday. I can say, howeve, we were not counting on Wolf to spring into the middle of all this in the way he has...
I stated in my last post that I was about to hop aboard a plane and fly over to see some bears. I did that, but I also addressed two fears. I hate small planes and, up until last Thursday, hated bears (I say that with all due respect to their existence, just not my existence among them). Convincing me to board a teeny-tiny little airplane and fly across the Gulf of Alaska to Katmai National Park and Hallo Bay Bear Camp to see bears close-up, on purpose, filled me with fear (thus the other reason I was up all night Wednesday; there, it's out).
Flew on the small plane with four other souls and the pilot. Landed on a remote, sandy beach pockmarked with bear and wolf tracks. Hiked through a peaty bog to a lush, green, beautiful meadow where I saw Mother Nature's bear-children engaging in their own version of family dynamics. Complicated, painful, and utterly epic in their scope and importance.
My jaw dropped. My brain whirled. My hatred cleared.
I saw animals just trying to survive. I saw females fighting for their rights. I saw neediness and joy and jealousy, and anger.
Then my own kid's struggles came into perspective.