I wouldn't have noticed if it weren't for the cat.
I was lounging in the living room reading my blog aggregator when Thorn dashed across the room to the relative safety of the front hallway and froze there, a whole-body exclamation point. I turned around and saw what had spooked her: a pair of bears in our yard.
One was right outside the window, looking curiously in. I tiptoed across the room and slid the glass door shut, then dashed across the house to fetch my camera. By the time I got back, they had ambled out to the patch of wild thyme by the rock where Thorn likes to sunbathe, and were turning around to wander up the hill.
Eva stops short about seventy-five feet from the powerline right-of-way. “There’s a bear!” she whispers. Now it’s my turn to be skeptical. But I crouch down until my head is level with hers and I can see out under the leaves at the edge of the woods, thanks to the browse line made by our too-numerous friends the deer. Sure enough, a dark space among the ferns has the exact shape of a bear. It looks much bigger now than it did in the light of late morning. It’s standing still, facing the sunset, and my inclination is to stay still and see what it does, but Eva is already creeping forward on her hands and knees, so I have little choice but to follow suit.
When I read that, I was vaguely envious, wishing I too could live in Plummer's Hollow and see what Dave gets to see. And now I've had my own visitation, unplannable and ineffable. I'm going to have to reread Elizabeth Bishop's The Moose tonight, in celebration of my brush with the gloriously wild world! Time for a heartfelt shehecheyanu -- how fortunate I am to live in this world, and to be blessed by its encounters.