Friday, December 30, 2011

Squirreled Away

Today little bear explored the urban forest a bit more and discovered a huge pile of spruce cone flakes. Little bear could have buried himself in the pile, it was that large! Even in the urban forest, there are signs of life.

Some little squirrel decided that this tree would be its lunch or dinner spot. The flakes and centres of the cones fall to the ground and create a mound or midden of cone debris. Clearly it is not cold enough to send the squirrels into hibernation, for just a little farther along, little bear encountered a squirrel having a snack. Even denizens of the forest make a mess and create piles of debris.

The difference between them and us is that most of our debris is not biodegradable. Our debris, our midden piles will still be around centuries and millenia from now. Little bear wonders at our lifestyle...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Walk in the Wild

Today little bear went for a walk out in the wild. Although there isn't a lot of snow here, little bear was well dressed for the weather. His first experience of snow was one of delight. It was easy to walk on, packed hard and he had a great time scampering along the top of it... for a while.

Then he discovered that not all snow is created equal and that appearances can be deceiving. Sunk up to his waist in snow, little bear needed some help to get back out on snowa-firma!

We too are often faced with situations or events or individuals who are not as they appear. Sometimes we think people are a certain way - and then we discover that they are not. Did they mislead us? Or are people (and snow) a complex reality that shifts and alters with the climate and with time? Nothing really ever stays the same. The snow that little bear walked so confidently on yesterday could, today, be soft. Snow alters. People alter. Places later. For us to try to hold onto them, is as if we try to hold onto the snow. Let it go... and be open for another experience later little bear!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Feline Friends

Little Bearista Bear is also extremely fortunate to live in a house with felines as opposed to canines. While dogs are beautiful companions, they do tend to see any stuffed animal as a potential toy. I have a suspicion that little bear wouldn't last long in a canine household. So... luck for him that the two felines do not see him as a potential playmate!

In fact, the cats see little bear with equanimity. A sniff here and a sniff there and they go back to doing their cat routine, which is a lot of sleeping, a bit of eating and some cuddling. Little bear could learn something from the cats, as could all of us. Cats live in the moment - they aren't too concerned about tomorrow or yesterday. They live in the present. If they need to groom themselves, then they groom. If they want to have some more kibbles, they make their wants known. If they want to sleep, then they sleep.

So often, it seems as if we don't do the things that we want to do. We want to read a book, but even as we are sitting reading the book, we have a long litany of "I should do this" coming through our head. "I should do the laundry. I should do the dishes." And so it goes. A good feline lesson for us to be present in the moment. To enjoy what we are about in this moment.

Because, although the felines probably won't become life-long friends of little bear, he can still learn something from them. Which is true for us as well. We might not connect with everyone, but every interaction has something to teach us. If we are open.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Festive Decor

Christmas is the time of year when people decorate their homes to the hilt. Or some people do. Christmas trees, lights decorations of various sorts. A fire burning in the fire place. All of these are traditional Christmas attire for a house. Alas, little Bearista Bear didn't get to experience a lot of it this year, his very first Christmas.

The fireplace is one of those zero-clearance ones, essentially a metal box with fire-rated lining. But the lining has a crack and so isn't isn't safe to use. But... we did introduce Bearista Bear to the fine art of the candle-place... a fireplace stuffed full of various candles and reflective objects that create a very festive atmosphere in the room. Plus there is little clean-up involved and no wood to be chopped.

The railing between the dining room and the living room was also artfully draped with beads and stained glass stars. Little bear thought it looked very good... although the preponderance of blue in the decor made him feel a little out of place in his green jacket.

And of course... Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the tree. Decorated from top to bottom in silver and turquoise and blue. A vision of loveliness was this fir. Except... it dried out quickly... far too quickly. It was tall and... well... it fell over on Boxing Day morning, much to the dismay of the cats and to little Bear who could very squished by the tree. No pictures were taken as the primary urge was to lift the 100 lb tree off of little bear. Needless to say, the tree was evicted sans decorations... and little bear got to enjoy it outside for a while.

It was, suffice to say, the quickest dismantling of a Christmas tree. The lesson being... enjoy it while you have it. Don't live in the future... or the past. For you never know when something might tip over... be it a Christmas tree... or some other facet of life. It is a good lesson for all of us. Even without a tree, we can still enjoy the Christmas season... as can little bear. Our enjoyment of Christmas doesn't lie with the tree... or the decorations. We might think that it does, and place a lot of weight and emphasis on those things, but when it comes right down to it, they may not bear the weight of our expectations.

Can we be happy with what we have... and with what comes. Little bear looks perfectly happy in a bare fir tree... a lesson for all.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day 2011

Boxing Day is a day for socializing and visiting. Little Barista Bear discovers that he doesn't have to go very far to find a friend! This little bear is into reading, and our little bear is clearly set up for outdoor activities. But they have also hit it off!

Perhaps that's how it is for all of us. Friends are just around the corner. They might not look like us. They might not have the same interest as us. But they can be a friend, because deep down, we're all the same.

Perhaps little Barista Bear has a lesson for all of us at this time of year. Peace and love and harmony aren't that far away. And really, we don't need all that much to make us happy.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

'Tis the season for Barista bears, at least in some places (like BC). This year seemed to be more of a dog year (in Alberta), but one Barista Bear was found... and brought home to enjoy the warmth and festivities of this holiday season. Which begs the question... what adventures can a Barista Bear have in one year? This is a chance to find out.

Christmas Day... and little bear has a gift under the tree... will little bear like it?

Of course little bear liked it! The perfect size for a little bear and it reminds him of where he came from. A little taste of home in this new place in which he finds himself.

Perhaps we too need a little taste of home in the places in which we find ourselves. At Christmas time, home is what draws us. For some of us, there is no home to return to. For others it is too far away, or too expensive.

But wherever we are, we can bring a piece of home with us. Maybe it's a tradition we celebrate. Or a decoration that we treasure. Perhaps a photograph. Whatever it is... we all need to connect with home.

For our little bear, this little ornament makes him feel welcome in this place.