As mentioned, a respected person told me long ago that the brown bear was my totem. I can only say that her statement was immediately shrugged off, not knowing what she meant (nor did she elaborate further). I felt certain that her exclamation was merely a response to my lifelong need of having the brown bear in my presence.
All my life I've been certain of two things: I've never felt I fit in these modern times and, in addition, I wanted nothing more than to place my feet in the footsteps of a grizzly bear (not TOO close, mind you!). So for someone to comment on this obvious "infatuation" wasn't odd or something to be studied further.
Though I have the freedom of living in an rv fulltime now, I grew up in the big city and constantly yearned to escape from the noise, distraction and chaos. I have always been introspective, unconventional - and this atmosphere did nothing but interfere with the quiet I needed to ponder my existence and find inner peace.
In my early thirties, I relocated 2000 miles to one of the last remaining habitats of the grizzly bear in the continental US, in gorgeous Glacier National Park, Montana. Though modern life still burdened me, keeping me tied to daily obligations, just knowing I was in grizzly bear habitat soothed my spirit.
The times I felt it most were when I could be off the beaten path, knowing I was now in her world - as small as it was becoming. Though bear encounters are rare, I could turn off the car with not a soul around for miles and miles, and picture her walking through the meadow. No longer was my need to be in her presence solely based on bear decorations, jewelry and posters - I was in her home now.