Word Prompt: Joy | Story Prompt: from the book “Ice Walker” by James Raffan

Write It Out: Instruction Video

“By March, their third month of development, the cubs are getting their lower incisors and canine teeth. When they pinch Nanu during nursing, she reprimands them. In this final month in the den, it is clear that the cubs’ hearing is starting to get much more acute. They can now hear the fox walking over the den. They startle more easily. And, as they pounce and roll together, they try out different voices and calls that become part of everyday chatter in the den. Each night they collapse into a heap and purr contentedly on or near their mother as they drift off to sleep.

With all this activity, Nanu must rouse herself from her sleepy state to tend to the den, scraping the frost that builds up on the walls. By now, the last of her molted hairs are distributed over the and elsewhere. Hairs that have rubbed off onto the ceiling hand like stalactites in a cave. From time to time, she pokes at the air vent, ensuring there is still plenty of fresh air.

After the equinox on March 21, when the sun is visible for twelve hours, the days lengthen quickly. The moon cycles overhead, sprinkling moonbeams into the darkness of the den. For the first time, Nanu can see her cubs. She senses the moment has come.

The bears are ready to enter the wider world, a world where tradition and progress collide. Until very recently, the speed of change was gradual, so bears could mostly adapt as they went about their yearly cycles. Today, climate change has accelerated in lockstep with technological progress, and that change now takes place much more rapidly. Nanu and her cubs are living in circumstances that at almost every turn of fate will challenge their very survival.”

***

Wild – Feb 2018 MEC

Go play outside

She’d say

As if it were punishment.

And outside we’d bolt

Tumbling over each other

At the door and

Gasping like fish

Waiting for

Release

Back into water –

One flick of our tails

And we were gone.

Seems we’ve learned,

With age.

We’ve adapted

To air

But our minds

Our bodies

Remember

The water.

Return to water

And remember what it is

To be alive

To be wild

For me

It’s the only place

I can breathe.

***

Spring, and the sheer joy of warm sunshine and longer days, is a time when many feel closest to nature. Feel connected. Experience awe in the delicate shoots that seem to defy cool spring temperatures and poke out through the skiff of ice and snow in the garden. How does spring make you feel? Share your thoughts below!

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