'By The Stream'
Bear (Mukwa) is an important clan figure to many of the First Peoples across Turtle Island (North America). Among all the four-leggeds, Bear is often said to possess the most human-like qualities, having much to teach us about life and ourselves. In addition to the admirable quality of strength, Bear can often demonstrate great patience while waiting quietly by a stream’s edge, as in the picture, for the right moment to pluck a fish from a swirling current. Bear also has attributes that point toward the transcendent; such as Bear’s preference for honey that some believe represents a yearning for the sweetness of truth. We too, can find truth buried deep in the Tree of Life, where risk (bees!) sometimes also awaits. Bear’s winter retreat into the den bespeaks of the importance of introspection in our lives, reminding us to go into our own silent places -- including dreamtime -- to reflect and be reborn into a new season of life.