Reassured by a Bear Print

We walk on this old friend of a trail finding reassurance. It’s in the backlit moss on every tree. It’s in this clump of low bush blueberry brush still heavy with last night’s rain and glistening in morning light. I search for berries as Aki sips water off the leaves.

Later we pass a forest recently burned and find promise in new growth forming on a nearly destroyed alder.  Here there’s beauty in cottonwood leaves dried to tinder in the fire and then soaked by last weeks storms. This morning each curled leaf is an apricot colored sculpture.

Oddly, I find the most reassurance  in a bear track overlapping my boot print. We had been working our way along a series of  ponds formed by beaver dams. The last pond flooded out the trail so we had to turn back. Minutes later I find a ripe Nagoon berry dropped like an offering on the trail.  In mud just beyond a fresh bear print covers one of mine.

Did the bear leave the berry as a treat or did it drop from his slavering jaws while he retreated from the berry path? Either way it tastes sweet.

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