Poems, stories, and reflections, written by faculty, staff, and volunteers currently serving in the Village.
I have no less than three pieces of bear artwork in my bedroom, plus some cool bear socks. My favorite animal is the black bear: kinda tough, kinda lazy, mostly just wants to chill and eat, but also fiercely protective. Napping in the mountains slamming berries is literally my idea of paradise. But despite my fangirling, the bear has not yet appeared to me this year. I have squinted at stumps and started at sudden movements, but no luck.
Growing up in rural Colorado, I used to see bears all the time: crossing the road, down by the river, leaving a trail of wreckage when one crashed through my backyard treehouse. I thought that padlocking your garbage bins was just a part of life. But these North Cascade bears have been holding out on me.
Just yesterday, I was wandering Ten Mile Trail, complaining of my lack of bear sightings. That very moment Erin was searching for me in the Village because the bear was by the school. Maybe I’m just a very aggressive and startling walker, or maybe I’m a daydreamer who has swept right past a massive creature without noticing. Or maybe the bear chooses you, you don’t choose the bear.
When I finally gaze upon one, I hope it’s a meaningful moment at golden hour and we make a long moment of eye contact while Celtic music comes in from somewhere. Or maybe I’ll just revel in its supreme indifference to my existence and stress out about the scent of salami coming from my day pack.
Either way, I eagerly await the day when the ursine glory reveals itself to me. I know desperation is rarely the way to make lasting social connections, so I’m trying to be chill about it. So like, whenever you’re ready, bud. I’ll just be here, waiting.
Becca Carcaterra is Human Resources Assistant at Holden Village. This column was originally published on May 21, 2020 in a daily newsletter, "The Quarantine Quarter," which is compiled by various staff members and sent to all Villagers.