Vancouver

Vancouver

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dire Straits

Oh boy... little bear was out for a walk today and even though he had gone to the bathroom before he left the house... all of a sudden he had to go. Like now!!! There was no time to run back home. There was no time to break into an outhouse, even if it was just for humans. No, he had to go... NOW!

So, little bear did what most of us have done at one time or another, he hid behind some piece of nature (tree, bush, or in this case, thick grass) and did his business. Whew!! That was a big relief. But now what?

We already know that little bear is on the Dog Poop Scoop Patrol and the Horse Poop Scoop Patrol, so how is he going to handle this little contravention of the Poop Patrol Bylaws? Is he going to pretend it never happened? Is he going to hope that nobody saw him?

Nope, little bear has come prepared!!! He now carries dog poop baggies in his back pocket and voila, a bit of judicious scooping and... little bear is done! Wow... good for little bear!

He could actually be a lesson for us as well. We've been taught it's OK to poop in the woods as long as you bury it but really... the ground water is going to percolate through there and make it's way to lakes and rivers. Wouldn't it be far better to carry poop scoop bags when we're out in the bush too? Hmm... little bear has given me pause for thought in all of this!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Eagle-Eyed Little Bear

Today little bear was out for a walk when he saw a strange piece of wood on the fence. It was easy to miss because it wasn't very big, but it was a different colour and it just caught his eye. He wandered on over, climbed up the fence post and had a closer look.

It was a painting on a piece of old board! Look at that!!! Little bear isn't a big artist... but he can appreciate art. After squinting at the painting for a while and tilting his head to the side and looking thoughtful (because that's what you do when you're looking at art)... little bear decided it was a very good painting.

It looked like an post-impressionist interpretation of the river valley below the fence, except in the summertime when all was in bloom and in leaf... not now in the wintertime.

Little bear took a closer look and even saw some little flowers in the painting. Very nice... He hasn't seen flowers yet (at least not live ones), but he's looking forward to that! The artist had even initialed the painting (C.H.). Little bear is going to keep his eyes open from now on (even more than normal) and see if he can find more paintings by this mysterious C.H. That will make the walks even more interesting!

Little bear sees things that we sometimes miss. Which makes me think that we should actually walk through life with little-bear eyes more often. There are probably lessons for us out there. Little bear is impressed that someone used an old board and painted a picture that decorates this tiny little corner of the world. How could we decorate our little corners of the world, or bring beauty where there is none?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thirsty Bear

Today little bear was out for a walk again and he got terribly thirsty as it was a hot winter day! The sun was beating down and he was working up a sweat and he saw a water tap in the distance. Yay!!! Some water!!

Except, this water tap was not working. No matter what he did, it didn't release any water. Poor little bear... so thirsty and nothing available for him. He walked a bit farther and came across a water fountain. Whew!! Maybe the water tap was just for gardeners or something. But here was a bona-fide water fountain.

Mind you, the ON button was going to prove difficult for little bear... but even with someone helping him and pushing the button... nothing came out of the water fountain either! Ergh! Poor little bear! Obviously people are not supposed to walk in the winter-time or something. No outhouses... no water fountains. Sigh...

Little bear was going to have to learn to pack himself a water bottle! He is learning the art of self-sufficiency. He's learning that if you go into the bush, you have to be prepared for all eventualities!

Which is a good lesson for us as well. We never know what we might encounter in life and it's always good to be prepared and have a back-up plan. If Plan A doesn't work out, then maybe it's time for Plan B. Little bear has learned that he has to go with the flow. Which is something we can do as well. Don't get too hooked on Plan A... take a look at see what else presents itself.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Bear House

Having come across bird houses, little bear wonders if maybe he needs a house of his own? If little birds have houses of their own, maybe it's time he moved out on his own too? Mind you, little bear hasn't seen a lot of likely looking houses for little bears!

Today though, he came across something that looked very interesting. Some colourful boxes set up near the road - perfect for a little bear! Mind you, two of them were locked and needed some money to open up, so little bear figured those were little bear hotels/motels. Pay as you go type of thing.

But there were also a couple that were free! With a bit of help, little bear had a look inside a couple of them. Hmmm... nice colour - windows were a bit dirty though. Not much in the way of insulation and no furniture at all!

And little bear quickly realized that once he was inside one of them, he couldn't get himself out! The door was hinged at the bottom and his little bear strength wasn't enough to open the door. Nor could he get a really good angle on it. Probably not a good idea for a little bear house!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Birder Bear

Today little bear came across another mysterious object tucked up against a fence post. What could it be? It had a tiny hole in it and the top was a little movable. Little bear peered through the hole and saw an accumulation of grass and fluff.

A bird house! Little bear had never come across one before  but he figured it out pretty quickly. He had seen little birds from afar so it didn't take long to figure out what this was. Little bear decided to perch on top of the of the house and see if any birds came by for a visit.

Little bear sat there and sat there but no birds came by. Hmmm... maybe they were put off by the fact that there was a bear lurking around their house! Little bear is going to have to learn that if you want to see some shy denizens of the bush, you have to give them a bit of space!

Which is a good lesson for us as well. Sometimes we just need to give people space to be who they are and to come and go in their own good time. It doesn't do any good to hang around and hover and bother people...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Where oh where, little Bear?

Today little bear was out for a walk in the warm winter sunshine when he realized that he needed to go to the bathroom... not super badly, but still, he had to go. He figured he could walk home and still be OK, but he didn't really want to go home yet so... he saw an outhouse off in the distance!

Yay!!! Saved by the outhouse... except... there were a couple of issues once he got closer. For one thing, it had a sign on it which made it pretty clear that this was an outhouse for humans, not for little bears. He had a poke around the place, but there was no little bear outhouse nearby. Mind you, there weren't a lot of humans around so maybe he could just sneak in, do his business and come out again!

Except... the door was locked... padlocked. It was a seasonal outhouse and now was obviously not a season in which humans needed to use outhouses... or something. Oh man!!! Little bear realized that he would need to head home now... poor little bear! A great walk in nature cut short by the call of nature... sigh...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Perplexed Bear

Today little bear discovered a strange contraption nailed to the trunk of a tree. A metal tin with all sorts of empty sunflower seeds underneath it on the ground. What could it be? Something had obviously been eating the seeds but... what was in the metal tin?

Little bear scrambled up the neighbouring shrub which just barely supported his weight and leaned over and leaned over and... almost fell out of the shrub!!! Whoa!! Little bear hung there for a moment before grabbing hold of the shrub and righting himself. Whew, that was a close call!

For all of his investigation though, all he's really discovered is that there are empty sunflower seeds in the tin as well. Maybe it's a special type of bird feeder? Little bear remembers his earlier encounter with bird seed and decides that is what it must be. He's becoming a very logical little bear and learning from his mistakes. Maybe next time he'll learn not to overbalance when he's climbing a tree!

Little bear is a very curious bear and sees all sorts of things out in the world, things that many of us might just walk by. Maybe it's because he's so small or because everything is so new to him but... he sees the most interesting things in the strangest places. So maybe that's a good lesson for us as well. What would we see if we walked through the world with the eyes of a little bear?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Proud Bear

Little bear is home!! Oh, it's good to be home! He can finally unpack all of his stuff and enjoy his souvenirs from London. He wants to remember his trip to London and these sourvenirs will help him to remember all the fun that he had, all the people & bears that he met!

One of the first things that he did was find some tape and put up his poster of Paddington Bear... Little bear knows that decorating a space is important and he wants to have a reminder of his London trip... specifcally his trip to Paddington Station.

Little bear is also pleased to present his little Paddington teddy bear. Every bear needs a teddy bear and he's glad that they had one that fits him perfectly. Now he can sleep peacefully at night cuddling with his own little bear!

Little bear didn't bring back a lot of stuff... just a few litle things... and he thinks that they are useful things as well. He doesn't believe in getting decorative trinkets that just sit around. Posters on the wall and little teddy bears are all useful! He doesn't want a lot of stuff cluttering up his space... like little statues of the Tower of London or something.

Which is a good reminder for us... not to get a lot of decorative clutter. It clutters up our space and just gathers dust... Smart little bear!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

London Departure

Oh... poor little bear!! Poor, poor little bear! His flight leaves at 9:45 am... and he has to be at the airport at 6:45 am. Which means he needs to catch the 6:15 am Gatwick Express train from Victoria Station. Which means he needs to be catching the Tube at 5 am... which means he needs to catch the bus at 4:30 am... which means he needs to get up at 4 am!!!

Little bear is not a morning bear apparently, at leaset not a 4 am morning bear! Poor little bear... He did manage to drag his little bear bum down the stairs and out the door and onto the bus and the tube and the train. And then conked out for a while before boarding the flight back home.

He did manage to pack his luggage the night before. That's a pretty big suitcase for a little bear... must be full of Paddington bear souvenirs!! Little bear is pretty excited to be going home. It was nice to be see London, but right now he just wants to go home! His little feet are sore from cobblestone streets. He found the damp London cold bone-chilling, even for a well dressed little bear! It's time to go back and get out into the bush for a while too! There's no place like home. But little bear does come away with lots of memories and experiences... and he might be dreaming in a London English accent for a while!

Monday, February 20, 2012

London Bears

Yesterday's encounter with the poop sign has left little bear musing... Why would they even think of having a sign like that? It's not like there are wild bears running around London! But then, little bear realized he had actually seen a lot of bears since coming to London!

There are Guard Bears dressed up in all sorts of uniforms.

There are Beefeater Bears dressed up in a Tudor-style uniform.

There are Department Store Bears from Harrod's... very hoity-toity bears... with fancy uniforms and name-tags.

Hmmm... there are actually quite a few bears in London! Clearly not all of them are toilet-trained as why else would they have a Bears Act!!

Different customs in different countries is little bear's conclusion... All he knows is that he had be very careful here in London... He doesn't want to get his person into trouble!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Scoop on London

Today little bear came across a sign that left him absolutely speechless... absolutely...

(Speechless Bear)
Little bear had come across all sorts of doggie doo-doo signs in Canada... and he knows that people who leave their dog poop lying around are... not nice... But London has taken it to a whole new level...

Disclaimer... modified from the original!
Speechless...  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Little Bear Phone Home 2

Finally!! Little bear solved the problem of the inaccessible red phone booths. He trotted out and bought a cheap cell phone for 10 GBP... add in 10 GBP of phone time and for $30 CAD he has a perfect way to phone home and let his friends know how he's doing! Way to go little bear! Mind you, he's a little peeved that he didn't do this earlier but... that's in the past.

Little bear just had to get over his shyness in asking for help... and just do it! Good advice for us as well! Things usually aren't as complicated as we think they are...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Paddington Bear

Today is the day!!! Today little bear went to Paddington Train Station. His goal was to finaly meet his hero, Paddington Bear. Oh boy... Little bear took the Tube and was excited just to get out at Paddington Tube Station and see the sign on the wall! He was so close, he could almost taste it.

The first thing that he saw as he came up the stairs was the little Paddington Bear stall where all things Paddington are sold. It looked very popular and little bear had some trouble getting close enough to see the stall... or to see what was there.

When he finally could see what was there, he was a bit overhwelmed... blue and red Paddington bears in every shape, style and colour! Paddington bear magnets, mugs, stickers, etc etc. Little bear knew that he wanted something from here... something to take home with him. That's what people do... buy souvenirs to take home and little bear is no different! After finally making his choices... which took a while... little bear paid for his purchases and then wandered off to find the Paddington Bear statue... It's around here somewhere...

Hah... found it! There he sits - Paddington Bear looking for someone to take care of him. Little bear poses next to the the statue and is content. He has everything that he needs. He has seen what he came to see... and many other things. He can go home a very contented bear!

Which is a good reminder for us as well. Little bear didn't have big plans for this trip... all he wanted to see was Paddington Bear. Along the way though, he had all sorts of other adventures which have contributed to his development as a little bear.

Which is true for us as well. As we go through life, all sorts of things contribute to our development. They might not have been on our plan or itinerary but... are we open to having them be in our life and seeing what we can learn from them?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Scared Bear

Today little bear went somewhere very different! This place isn't on the tourist tours. It isn't a well known place. In fact it's a little hard to find and quite a tube ride to reach. Little bear went to a cemetery today! A very old cemetery. A very dilapidated cemetery.

This cemetery does not have pristine grass in between neat rows of headstones. This cemetery doesn't have neat rows of headstones. This cemetery has gone to seed a little bit. The weeds run rampant. The tree roots heave up the graves. Headstones are cracked and damaged, fallen over and broken. There is barely any space to walk between graves. This is a very cramped cemetery!

Land is tight in London and this cemetery has had to use every square inch of space. As little bear wanders around this gloomy place, he's quite clear that he wouldn't want to be wandering around here after dark!!! This could be a very scary place at night. There are weird statues with weird shapes and there is just a scary atmosphere here!

But then little bear saw something that comforted him! It was an angel!! Wow... an angel! He jumped away from the scary graves into the arms of the angel and nestled there for a while. It wasn't a real angel... but then you can't see real angels. Still... for little bear, this was a place of refuge in a scary place. As he sat there, his courage came back, and he realized that there really isn't anything that can hurt him... because ultimately he, like us, is part of the One. Everything comes from the One... stars, planets, trees, mountains, rocks, minerals, plants, oil - anything that is made... comes from the One source. Little bear is comforted by this.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

History Bear

Today little bear went and took a look at the British Museum. Or should that be The British Museum! This is the place that has history oozing out of its pores. Ancient history, modern history, medieval history, dark ages history, Roman history, recent history. Little bear was a bit overwhelmed by it. After all, there are only so many statues that one can see in a day before one goes into statues overload. Or artifacts. Or whatever it is. Mind you, this is the only musuem little bear visited on this trip so... he needed to make the most of it. There were all sorts of other things that might have been more interesting... like the Tate Gallery, or the Albert & Victoria Museum or that Natural History Museum (with dinosaurs!).

But like us, little bear learned that you can't do everything all at once. There are some things that come in life and you can grab them and other things that you can't grab. Time is tight and little bear had to make a choice. Good for little bear! Sometimes we can get caught in not making the choice, or dithering about the choice, or regretting the choice. But he's glad that he made a choice... and saw what he saw. He has a better understanding of Emperor Hadrian!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Meeting Royalty

Little bear met some royalty today! Ancient royalty mind you... and only a statue of royalty... but it counts! Little bear has heard that London used to be a Roman city way back in the early years. Today he came across some ancient walls from Roman times and a statue of the Emperor Hadrian! Oh boy!

Having his picture taken with the statue was an experience. He was a little concerned that he would discover what the Romans actually wore under their kilts... or if they wore nothing but luckily the statue wasn't that detailed! Whew!!

Mind you, little bear did get some funny looks from passers-by! I guess they've never seen a little bear wanting to have his picture taken with a Roman Emperor. Mind you... little bear also has a bone to pick with the Romans because they killed thousands of bears in their games at the Colosseum in Rome and other big Roman centres. No wonder bears are an endangered species in some areas. And the truth is... the Romans hunted the Atlas Bear to near extinction in northern Africa! The last known Atlas Bear was killed in the 1870s, but you can be sure that the Romans dealt the species the hardest blow!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bear at the Bridge

So... what with being at the Tower and all, little bear figured he might as well visit the Tower Bridge as well. It was a very cold and windy day while little bear was there! It's a good thing that he was all dressed in his winter outfit. Luckily there wasn't any rain so he didn't have to try out his little rain poncho.

The seagulls along the river were interested in little bear... given how small he is, he must look like a juicy little morsel to them! Little bear wasn't too sure about those birds, so he dashed out of hiding to have his picture taken and then rushed back!

Little bear might be a scared bear, but he's also a brave bear! Courage comes from moving through fear... so little bear is a good example for all of us.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bear at the Tower

Today little bear went to visit the Tower of London. He had heard a lot about this majestic castle/fortress. It's been around since Roman times! In one form or another. And it looks a bit like that too - with all sorts of different walls and towers and inner keeps. Little bear did a circuit of the Tower and then snuck into the Tower by tucking himself deep into a backpack. "No sharp" objects weren't going to stop him this time!

Little bear wandered around the Tower but there were a tonne of tourists there and he had trouble seeing things through all of their long legs! He nearly got stepped on a few times! People don't keep their eyes on their feet or keep an eye out for little bears!

Little bear desperately wanted to see the Crown Jewels and they were very fascinating. But the moving conveyor belt meant he couldn't stop to gaze at them very long. And the "no cameras" meant that he couldn't even take a picture of them! No proof that he actually was there! Ah well... little bear is happy to have just been there.

Little bear even heard about the legend that there is a bear ghost running around the Tower! Although he peaked in all sorts of nooks and crannies, he didn't find a bear ghost anywhere. It's probably the ghost of one of those bearskin bears!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Buckingham Bear

Oh boy... today little bear went to Buckingham Palace! Oh boy!!! So big!! With huge fences and gates... and lots of guards. Mind you... little bear had been steeling himself to see the guards and their uniforms. He had seen pictures of them in their red uniforms with their big, tall, furry... bearskin hats!!! Little bear wasn't sure if he would cry or rage when he saw these people wearing bearskin. Luckily, the guards weren't wearing their full dress uniforms, they were just wearing grey uniforms with regular caps. Little bear heaved a sigh of relief... all that worry for nothing.

Mind you... he is toying with the idea of writing a letter to Kate and expressing his displeasure that in this day and age, people still see fit to wear animal skins! If they were sealskin hats or fox fur hats or mink hats, you can be sure there would be an outburst. But no... they are "just" bear skin hats, so no one makes a fuss or anything! Little bear knows that they come from Canadian brown bears, so as a Canadian little bear, he feels he should speak up and say something. It seems like Kate would be more sympathetic to the plight of the bears than William... You never know unless you try!

Little bear is quite a crusader... but he could easily spread himself too thin with all of his crusades! Poop patrol... litter patrol... save the bears... He's going to be a busy little bear! Maybe he should just pick one campaign for now... that might be a good lesson for us too. Not to spread ourselves too thin... and see where we can focus our attention for good effect.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Site of a Royal Wedding

One of the main sites that little bear wanted to visit was Westminster Abbey, the place where William and Kate got married! Finding the Abbey was easy... but getting into it was another thing entirely. The entrance fee for a regular person was 16 pounds! That's... 24 dollars Canadian... And let's not even talk about entrance fees for little bears! Plus, after the whole thing with the claws at the London Eye, little bear realizes that he's probably not going to get into a lot of places... at least not by walking through the door!

He did manage to sneak by the security guard at one of the archives by riding in a backpack. Even though they opened the backpack, all they saw was a little stuffed bear! It's sort of like that cartoon strip... Calvin & Hobbes. Only Calvin can see and hear and interact with Hobbes. For everyone else, Hobbes is just a stuffed tiger!

Little bear realizes that sometimes people see exactly what they want to see or expect to see. But if someone has different eyes... then something different can be seen! Which is a good lesson for us... do we go through life just seeing what we want to see or expect to see? Are we open to seeing and experiencing something different?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Little Bear... Phone Home

Little bear has been in London a few days now and he's desperate to talk to his friends back home. But... little bear has a problem. Or rather, the phone booths have a problem! They are not designed for little bears at all... they actually aren't designed for any little person! The phone booths are very cute and very red... but little bear can't get anywhere near the phone itself.

Poor little bear... he's going to have to come up with a different solution to his problem... Which is a good lesson for us as well. When we are blocked by circumstances which seem impossible, there is probably a work-around solution that we could try. Little bear is going to have to think outside of the box (or outside of the phone booth) to solve his problem. Where can we think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions for the "problems" in our lives?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Eye on London

Today little bear had his eye on the London Eye. Oh boy... that thing looks awfully big and fragile! Who the heck would want to go up in that? Little bear had a look at it from across the river and decided that maybe he was brave enough to give it a whirl. Maybe.

After traipsing across the bridge over to the other side and having an up close view of the London Eye, little bear thought about it some more. Really.. did he really, really, really want to go up in that thing? The view would be amazing... maybe. But it was expensive... as they didn't give discounts for little bears. Plus... after reading the security rules, little bear learned that he was excluded from going on the ride anyhow! What was this? Discrimination?? No... it's just that they don't allow sharp objects on the London Eye... no scissors, no pocket knives, no bear claws (except for donuts).

Poor little bear! After getting himself all psyched up for this adventure he learned that all of that was for nothing. Which just goes to show him... and us... that sometimes we create huge upsets for ourselves and a lot of stress... which is absolutely pointless. Little bear could have saved himself a lot of stress and angst and anguish if he had just waited until he was at the London Eye. Which is a good lesson for us as well! We put oureslves through a lot of stress needlessly... we could learn something from what little bear has learned today!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

London - Big Ben

Woo-hoo! Little bear is in London... the real London... not the fake one in Ontario. Wow... London is a big place! There are tonnes of people, tonnes of bears, tonnes of cars and... well... just more of everything! More noise, more buildings, more history, more everything. Little bear arrived at Victoria Station on the train from Gatwick and didn't know where to go first...

After a bit of dithering, he caught the Tube down to Westminster Station, which isn't very far to walk... but little bear has little legs and... that was a long distance or a little bear! He came up the steps out of the Tube station and there it was... Big Ben!

Wow... it is... big! That goes with the whole big plane, big bear, big wolf theme that little bear has been experiencing lately. Everything just seems really big and this clock tower is no exception. Little bear wonders why it's called Big Ben, and a bit of searching on Google leaves him dissatisfied. Well... no one really knows why it's called Big Ben... it might have been named after the Commissioner for Works whose name is inscribed on the bell or it might be named after a boxing champion of the time.

Little bear did learn that, techinically, the thing that is called Big Ben is the big hour bell in the clock tower, not the whole thing itself. But most people don't really care about those technicalities and just call the whole thing Big Ben. Little bear learned that Big Ben has been running almost continuously for over 150 years... that's a long time.

Little bear has learned that there are some things that, even though they are just things, have great meaning for people. People can recognize its sillhouette and it is a symbol of London. It might just be a building... but it's not just a building. We have places like that in our lives as well... places that are just places, but they symbolize so much more for us... They might be famous places... or they might be places known only to us.