Bears, the Keepers of Dreams

In southeastern Texas where I live, it gets cold now and then, but rarely freezes. Right now I’m spending the holidays in New Mexico where it gets colder. I see snow through the window. My breath makes smoke clouds when I go outside. I need a hat and thick socks. This weather makes me want to sleep late.

Bears also sleep more in the winter. A lot more. They snooze for an entire seven months, all day and all night, in a state called hibernation. If you were a bear you’d miss Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day. No food, no water, no holiday parties.

However, I can see that if I had to live outdoors without food when it’s really really cold, curling up in a hole and nodding off until it got warm might be a good idea.

While researching my book A BEAR’S YEAR , which follows a mother bear and her cub through the seasons, I watched a lot of bear videos.  Here are some of my favorite about the time of the year when bears sleep and dream.

This one shows a mother bear and cubs getting ready to hibernate and explains beautifully why and how bears hibernate.

Here is a bear preparing his den for the winter. He spends an awfully long time gathering leaves, but it’s worth watching all the way through.

Here is Spirit Bear hibernating…

…and then waking up in the Spring!

Scientists believe that bears dream like we do. Sleeping as much as they do, they must have a lot of dreams. Maybe that’s why the Cherokee people say bears are the keepers of dreams.

As for me, I’m thankful I can stay awake to experience the season, as well as sleep in when I want to dream a little longer.

Wishing you a Happy 2017!



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