There are polar bears amassing in Belushya Guba. Have you heard? This Russian town has had to set up patrols because melting sea ice has forced the bears to look for food outside of their natural habitat. Polar bears raiding garbage cans. Let that sink in.
I dragged my trash and recycling bins back through several inches of slush today. Last night it was ice, and the trees and porch and railings were coated with it. I have cleats on my snow boots, but they don’t soothe the terror I feel every time I set foot outside on a wintry day. It’s so easy to slip. Too easy to fall.
I don’t know why I’m fixating on them—the thought of opening my door and coming face to face with a polar bear—with all that’s happening in the world, but I guess that’s human nature.
And I wonder about the relevance of those hungry beasts so far from their element, trying to survive, make a place for themselves where they are unwelcome and unwanted, because they are beasts after all, and will do as their nature dictates.
One really can’t blame them.
It’s been a hard winter. Polar vortexes, storms, and other unpleasantness. I keep thinking the other types of pleasantness would be easier to weather in a warm climate.
But then there are those grapes, luscious and fat in the sun’s honeyed glaze, awaiting transformation. What will their fate be if the soil turns parched and needy?
My boots are stored and drying, their cleats remain strong and ready.
I hope the lids on my bins are secure.
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(Recommended reading: “The Birds” by Daphne Du Maurier)