I have a dream for Sierra’s Bears

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter ~ML King Jr.

agitated bear-stare ~d nelson

This week I am inspired reading Martin Luther King’s words and other’s essays about his loving service to humanity. Then later, among other news I read about the Sierra Nevada’s bears becoming wide-awake during this warm, dry winter. “Black bears in the Sierra typically den or hibernate from December through early spring. But some have emerged from hibernation early in what’s been called a disastrous winter. Sierra residents startled as animals forage for food.” ~SF Chronicle

In empathy towards our affected brother and sister bears, for whom I am having this dream of compassion today. (the bear nobly speaks from within my dream)

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my two-legged friends.
Instead, may we respond with calm wisdom, and not react out of ignorance.
Your esteemed institutes of higher learning’s clothing offers insight, such as “let there be light”
and imagery of my kind, the bears.
Look deeply and see that true bears are flesh and blood
and not just images, logos and wooden statues.

Somehow the world has changed, and I am unable to sleep this winter.
A sleepy bear does not care about arguments for or against climate change.
Why chase after the arsonist while letting the forest burn down?
A wise bear or person understands that we are all woven in this web of life
and clear-headed, decisive action is beckoning, today.
Not why, why, why, why…
Every bear can see there are countless ways
to show love for nature and give back some of what has been taken
before it’s too late
and all creatures standing are walking in their sleep.
Undoubtedly all will sacrifice
without discrimination by gender, age, race, belief or species.

I have a dream that one day this world will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men, women, bears and other living beings are created equal; out of star-dust.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, and every other hill and plain, the descendants of former oppressed beings and the descendants of former oppressors will be able to sit down together at the table of living beings in brotherhood.

I have a dream that my four little cubs will one day live in a world where they will not be judged by the color of their fur or size of their teeth but by the content of their character.

In order for this bear’s dream to come true there must first be sleep.
Refuel body, mind and spirit or run out of gas.
In solidarity with other creatures dazed by lack of winter, including the
polar bear, Tasmanian devils,  Arctic fox, Antarctic fur seal, snowy owl…

At this precipice upon which all living things now teeter,
may finding the good in the bad be our motto.
Clearly, not all will survive unscathed during this winter of discontent.
But, if this loud bell of mindfulness is heard
and human civilization wakes up to earth’s and other inhabitant’s yawns and cries,
recognizing that all desire the freedom to live,
that wisdom must prevail, with each mindful breath,
so that all beings will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old (human) Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Written on behalf of all sleepy bears, in respect of Dr. King’s speech.

24 Replies to “I have a dream for Sierra’s Bears”

  1. I am stunned – in a good way – beyond belief (or even non belief), as I’m sure MLK would be, at this compassioante, non-dualistic and all-inclusive treatise on behalf of the black bears. Thank you David

    1. appreciate your honest thoughts of being stunned, Bruce! I did try to reflect MLK’s words in a non discriminatory way. may all bears get through this winter safe. perhaps upon re-reading it myself, i’ll be stunned 🙂

  2. David – part of my being stunned is the further evidence of climate change, and also a recent talk I heard by Thay (from a Deer Park reblog link you made) about him answering questions and discussing climate change. It is also the way write – so direct & non-judgemental i.e “Without discrimination by gender, age, race, belief or species.” And maybe also the photography that illustrates the juxtaposition of things – the carved wooden bears and the real live bears. All if these connected to me, stunned me, as I read your words.

  3. These words (“…we are all woven in this web of life.” ) convey the natural righteousness of biodiversity (“…in solidarity with other creatures”) in the face of adversity (“…this precipice upon which all living things now teeter). May we all find the good in the bad. I appreciate this interpretation.

      1. Bears, like so many other living and non-living things, are inspirational to us humans. I suppose that’s why images of them are often used as mascots or totems. We attribute the human characteristics we admire by way of their natural behaviors. We symbolize the traits we aspire to uphold in images and artwork and all manner of merchandise. Our connection to the natural world haunts us. And I’m happy it does because this, I believe, is the only thing that can save us all.

  4. Gee, this is very enlightening and informative.
    I adore bears and have never felt afraid when I see them, mind you, I do practice “bear safe” behaviour.
    This is news is shocking to hear about bears. Also, the lame-stream-news, is not mentioning this extremely important news: the top story is: The “Biebe” [Justine Bieber] has been arrested. It’s so disgusting, I decided last night to no longer watch mainstream ‘news’.
    Thanks ever so much for letting us know this most important news, presented in such a loving, compassionate way.

    1. i wish there was mostly nice news to consider.
      of course every moment breathing is a gift, a treasure.
      yet so much is calling for our attention and those who control media fail to truly express what is going on. thereby robbing us of the precious time to respond. i see the media stars names and images on the web and recognize that eye and ear candy does not help secure a future for humanity. alternative news can be found, such as npr and democracy now. thanks for taking the time to share, Genie 🙂

  5. Zowie! This is wonderful! I got goosebumps from “I have a dream that one day this world will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men, women, bears and other living beings are created equal; out of star-dust” through the end.

    Thank you – not only for a fabulous post, but for also giving me another nudge from Bear (my power animal). It’s the 3rd nudge in 48 hours, so she’s really trying to get my attention. Guess I better do some journeying this afternoon.

    Smiling with you today.

  6. I liked the originality of using MLK’s speech to cheer for the bears. I indeed hope too that, all animals will feel a sense of inclusion, the big ones and the small ones. So that they can enjoy their lives as much as we do ours, and we can share our responsibility for our beautiful planet. Thanks!

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