Uh Oh… Trouble is Coming

I once had a dream that my young son and I were walking on a trail when up ahead about 100 yards, the biggest grizzly I have ever seen came out of the bush on the left. Originally intending to cross the trail and disappear into the right side he stopped, turned his head and looked at us. As he looked, I realized he was not only the biggest grizzly I had ever seen, but he was also without a doubt the oldest one I had ever seen. He was huge, easily the size of a car and his brown coat sparkled with gray hair. And on top of these facts, he looked very angry to see us. He started running at us, mouth open, teeth barred and dirt throwing up behind him as he dug in his huge claws to come at us, as fast as he could. I had never seen anything move so fast.

My son and I stopped, and we held hands. My son asked: “What do we do?”

All I could come up with was: “Hope he is good to us.”

He stopped in front of me, growled open-mouthed so close I could feel his hot breath, see all his yellowed, aged teeth on a head bigger than a medicine ball.

We just stood there. I thought I was dead.

He stopped, turned around and walked at his original pace to his original path, and disappeared into the bush to the right of the trail.

Since that time, I have been fascinated by bears and spent many hours talking to one of my oldest friends, a former Chief, about what that dream meant.

He said his Mom always told him bears are trouble and that I had trouble coming. But the good news, he explained, was the trouble came very, very close. Uncomfortably close. But it left. He said I was blessed with the forewarning, suggested I remember that, when  the trouble comes, it will leave.

Then we had to get into the question I had. Everyone has trouble, so why did I get warnings or notices in advance? I still don’t know the answer to that one, maybe I pay attention, maybe it’s something else. But whatever it is, I was fortunate and given some skills to handle things (I hoped).

The other thing we agreed on was, since I was given this advance notice or warning,  I should honour the bear and respect him in different ways, which I did and still do. As for whatever reason, he decided to come to me in my dream and gives me a heads up.

The dream was a long time ago, probably over 20 years. Trouble did come, as it does for everyone. Each time I would ask myself, is this what he meant about trouble coming? Hoping that was the end of it. But like everyone, trouble comes and trouble goes, and each time I never know if this was the ‘trouble’ the bear warned me about. I hope I have seen the last of it, I doubt  itbut with each encounter with trouble,  I always remembered those words… “it is coming close, but it leaves.”Wise words from a wise friend.


About the Author

Janet Sheriff

An innovative entrepreneur, Janet brings her extensive experience in all aspects of strategic planning, management, indigenous affairs and communications to start ups, new ventures and the mining & exploration sectors. Janet focuses her entrepreneurial spirit, leadership skills and vision to create new opportunities, award-winning innovative programs and new ways of conducting business. Her strong commitment to community engagement, sustainability and inclusion provides her the proven ability to work effectively and respectfully in cross-cultural environments.