Expect The Unexpected

Black Bear, Asheville, N. Carolina

Instructions for living a life:

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it.

Mary Oliver

Even in the most mundane daily activities there are surprises embedded in the ordinary. Since moving to the Asheville, N. Carolina area of the U.S., where nature is vibrant and wildlife is abundant, I have learned to open all of my senses wherever I am.

Though the image above pictures one black bear crossing the road imagine if you will 3 black bears at an intersection crosswalk waiting to get to the other side of the road. Not a country road mind you, but only half a mile or so to downtown Asheville.

I was so astonished by these 3 bears at the intersection where the road to the Botanical Gardens and the University of N. Carolina crosses over a main road (Broadway), that I lost the opportunity to capture them on my phone camera.

As one of the bears walked directly in front of my car to get to the other side, the other 2 were lounging at the curb not quite ready to go forward. Perhaps waiting to see if their family member made it across safely (or waiting for the light to turn green :-)).

Though some cars were willing to wait for these wild bears to cross, others were not, thus an extraordinary opportunity was shortened for me. My astonishment lasted for days and I have to say was laced with a bit of sadness that wild bears were living so close to a highly built up area by humans.

As we walk the pathway to Winter Solstice immersing in the darkness the bear reminds us of the importance of solitude, quite time, and rest during the holidays when so much can take our attention.

Ordinary life is filled with opportunities to perceive and experience magic, joy, astounding beauty, and the sacredness of life – even on the way home from the grocery store! Expect the unexpected.

The more we share the experiences and journeys we take that profoundly touch us, the less we remain stuck in grooved patterns that make us forget why we are here. Share your stories!

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it.


Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, 11/05/21. Please feel free to share this post and link to WildlyFreeElder.

Considering a move? Finding Home: Conscious Relocation Services by Gaye Abbott

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