Happy, Shining Grizzly BearsPosted: August 27, 2012
I am riding in a late model car with an open roof. Could have been the rented 2012 Peugeot recently dropped off at Charles de Gaulle Roissy 2. I seem to remember tossing the keys to the agent and hauling ass into the terminal before he had the chance to survey the vehicle. We rode that car hard and something about hanging up something wet…oh, I don’t know. Maybe I have guilt issues.
Yes, an abused black Peugeot. Let’s go with it.
Riding in this automobile abused by mine own hand, the sun is shining. Shining bright and new like it is mid-afternoon in early spring. The air is clean and crisp. I think I am in the mountains. At least that is what I imagine, because I can breathe here.
The road glides over gentle hills. There are dense forests set back behind green fields. The sun filters through perfectly and there are smooth shadows created that ease my eyes. Large peaks are in the distance, but there are no sweeping vistas. I can’t see the mountains, but I can sense them.
There are lovely fences that line this two-laned road. Imagine the country roads of South Carolina inside Switzerland.
It is a peaceful and intimate place.
I don’t speak French.
Then I see them. Along the road. Standing upright.
As I pass, they are in close proximity, but stay behind the pretty white fences. There are dozens of them. They don’t threaten me. Instead, they seem to be smiling at me. Smiling and waving their paws with razor sharp claws.
They came to greet me as I am passing through.
I don’t think there are grizzly bears in Switzerland, are there?
In my quest for meaning, I Googled smiling grizzly bears and I found this illustration by Alessandra Olanow.
Polite, smiling grizzly bears in Switzerland with Southern sensibilities and a French accent? I think they came out to wish me a happy birthday. Were they wearing party hats? I can’t remember, but let’s go with it.
It is entirely possible that they wanted to eat me. It is early spring and surely they must be hungry. After all, it’s been a long, cold winter.
I turn 40. I imagine grizzly bears with razor sharp claws and party hats. I don’t speak French.