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  • What is it about this place?

    On my walk today these woods offered up a wonderment. It has a way of doing that. Out of the blue.

    It has lifted whispery branches to reveal glimpses and lessons. When I least expect them.

    This afternoon a teddy bear, like a foundling, appeared on a bed of leaves. Kissed by mosses. Right there under a yellowing maple by the side of the path.

    It took a moment to figure out that it wasn't a rock. A man and a woman were standing there wondering out loud.
  • My first thought:

    Who dropped it ages ago? Was she sleepy-strapped to her father's back as he strode along, her head nodding, body softening, arms loosening their grip on her fat furry friend?

    My daughter--a very long time ago--lost her bear on an airplane
    but had it return, miraculously, after a long long trip around the country--
    she still hugs that bear, still scolds it for going missing.

    This bear never made it back to its child.
  • I felt a pang for a topiary bear
    in the deep woods after rain in the fall

    but didn't dare disturb it
    what with its greening skin, its soft beard and its fuzzling fur
    covered as it was in moss, metamorphosing

    into a half-this half-that, a sort of Girl with Glass Feet.
  • My second thought:

    Maybe an artist placed it here, carefully, just so, a maybe. Surely I would have noticed it before?

    Was someone peering from behind a nearby tree?

    I looked around.
    The trees looked back.
    The bear stared on and on into the moss into the trees into the sky.
  • My mind took another snap and turn

    to the Dalai Lama
    who was in town just yesterday to speak
    of the human heart
    and yet I didn't go hear him.
    Why was that?

    This little bear was certainly speaking to my heart.
    Out here on this brocade carpet with soft moss on its face.
  • But now hours later I have finally let go of my need
    to grasp the what happened
    to imagine the inner life
    to hear the heart beat
    of a stuffed bear growing moss on its face--
    what it feels moldering there
    waiting or not
    abandoned or not

    and just let it be, half something, on this bed of damp leaves on a yellow autumn day.
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