I am coming out of hibernation, but slowly, so as not to startle my nervous system.
Today I saw a crocus blooming. My crocus, because I planted it. As if I can stake a claim on such a thing.
The end of hibernation requires sustenance. When I called the cajun eatery to see what was on tonight's menu, the man said my favorite vegetarian dish, the B&B (which stands for I don't know what), was unavailable. "Waitaminute," said the man, and asked around. "OK. It's not on the menu, but we'll have it. Just ask." Bears are not vegetarian, and neither am I. But we want what we want. And we like when the neighborhood takes care of its own.
Bears and birds can be friends. Bears and squirrels have an iffier relationship. As for chipmunks, bears can't be bothered with chipmunks. They are too small, though they have much else to admire. They have grit, are hard-working, affable. So when one paticularly tenacious climber ascends the shepherd's hook to the birdfeeder, finally figuring out how to leap past the squirrel baffle that baffles only the human who put it there, a bear's gotta give a chipmunk credit. Even if the chipmunk appears to be doing unspeakable things to the birdfeeder, defiling it in a most egregious fashion. No longer cute and spunky but perverse and vile. Yet fascinating, in a PBS nature special kind of way. Do bears like to watch chipmunks simulate sex via orgiastic eating? That's an extremely personal question.
On the trail I saw a tough guy walking a big fluffy dog-show dog. And a petite lady with a shaky chihuahua. No bears, though.
Reading is a must both during and after hibernation. After, when the sun's out, a book on the porch cures most of the world's ills. Even while reading about the world's ills, in Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi's graphic memoir about growing up during the Islamic revolution in Iran. In class next week, the book & film just may hit the window of attention-span opportunity where spring fever is planted but not yet raging. Post-hibernation breeds optimism.
Bears do not wear t-shirts with slogans. But if they did? Concert tees, yes. Maybe something in support of Ralph Nader. And this: Be the Bear. In XXL, short sleeves, for catching the sun and spring air.