That I Dream of Bears

eric mccarty
3 min readJun 5
That I dream of Bears — Wildlife — Dreams — Headless Now — Prose Poetry — Moca McCarty Photo

That I dream of bears:

since childhood bears have figured prominently in my dreams, often appearing in times of most turmoil or if I’m fearful of a certain change to come. They’ve always seemed to represent my own strength to navigate these events, and that I’ll be able to make it through whatever life brings my way. Sometimes they seem to appear for no reason at all, perhaps just to offer reassurance that guidance is always nearby, or that their company simply provides me comfort through the night. Honestly I’ve never spent much time analyzing this — it’s enough that I dream of bears and appreciate the assurance that they offer.

my grandfather was a bear hunter, widely renowned for his skill and endurance on the hunt. This thrilled me as a child and couldn’t wait to one day be such a hunter myself. As I grew older the wish to pursue anything with a wish to harm faded to a deep compassion. There’s no judgment to those who hunt by way of their lifestyle, my extended family have lived for generations hunting, close to the land, and I have only love for them and the life they’ve chosen. But there’s not a bone within me with this desire, although it was years before I settled in my own way of living.

my own desire is to heal, to cause no harm to others.

in my own way though, I hunt bears through location, having traveled to places where I can find them, backpacking to remote location for just a glimpse of one to cross my path. That I dream of bears is a hunt of power, to speak with them in spiritual conference, a dreamland that provides a direct communication and the transference of the gifts they offer. Perhaps my grandfather would be proud of the skills and endurance I’ve gathered through these dreams as well as actual mountains that I’ve climbed in pursuit of simply seeing one for the joy it brings me.

yesterday, a bear was spotted near my suburban home, minutes from the pond I walk each morning. Of course hearing this brought cause to roam my neighborhood relentlessly, adding miles to my routine walk, sharply watchful for any signs that one might be near. No luck. But several neighbors told me that they saw him. As a child I roamed these very same patches of woods and fields, so much larger in my imagination back then, wilder, every thicket held the possibility of concealing a bear…

eric mccarty

Writer, prose poetry, meditation teacher and lifetime student