Last summer, I backpacked in the Marble Mountains taking my pack, rattle and intentions. I hoped for support with my intense fear of bears - a shadow on an otherwise beautiful love affair with the outdoors. I’d never seen a bear while backpacking, but the fear was alive and real. I left an offering, asked for support from spirit of place and hiked in. Within an hour, I heard then saw, a black bear cub gazing at me while romping up a hill. Pure awe and delight! This was the first of several sightings of bear’s presence. The first night by the fire, I rattled, connected with the spirit of place and had a surprisingly restful sleep, interwoven with dream visits from wolf and others. Over the next 2 nights, I worked through layers of fear and limiting beliefs. I was gifted with beautiful teachings and was supported when the fears arose. When I set up camp on my final night under a tree with fresh sap dripping from a bear’s claw, I had to laugh. Bear was with me the whole way, with its strength and power, helping me call on my inner resources and find my way to freedom in the wilderness.