Polar Bear

Polar Bear, a distant mirage in stars and clouds, strong noble protector in those magic hours of bedtime stories, books, documentaries, legends. Slow lull of winter gazing, snow pouncing cubs, little tummies. I look down at the pink nose on a ballerina bear I just bought for my niece on her first Christmas. I touch the bleached, manufactured fur, then the dainty lace to-to around the belly, so much joy, such fun in the beady eyes of the princess bear.

I set her down as I feel the fading light a low weight pulling my heart down for the real life of the bear out there. Struggling right now desperate to survive, to feed her young, to brave the waters, to face a changing world without the security of traditions, protection, or habitat. Vast ice sheets, arctic winds. Large, padded footprints in the snow shoveling out holes, sniffing, swimming, just trying to eat.

Miles across frozen lands, now those paws a lifeboat paddling endlessly through broken unstable ice sheets separating as fast as the soap bubbles in my kitchen sink. The white snout black nose struggles to stay above water. She paddles in anticipation, the ice will be there, but it is not. There is no icy white ridge to meet her deep, hopeful eyes. Her eyes grow dim, blue ripples fade, legs float and the white fur sinks into the abyss cold and gone.

I feel the hot water run cold over my hands. I lift the drain, watch the water swirl down. The Polar Bear. The great white hero of imaginations, the dreamy wishes and moon dances sink down into icy depths of the unknown. Exhaustion pulls her down without ever knowing why great civilizations sentence her to such a death. The innocent symbol of strength fades deep into the dark sea.

I go to wrap the stuffed polar bear in pretty pink paper and think of my niece’s gurgles, laughs, and smiles when she holds this little bear to her face. Her innocence like the polar bear cubs starting to find their place in the world with a gentle tumble-down snow embankments and across frozen terrain, trying to survive in a tough world. I hope my niece won’t have to fight for air, food, for a space to live, or feel sunk, drowned by the lack of caring hearts in the world. I hope someday my niece will be able to see one of the giants, the legendary Polar Bears in the wild and smile a grateful smile.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s