–by G.K. Sydney (file photo)
Way to Go, Sooke
So it’s been a while. Writer’s block, or laziness, or overly busy or whatever you want to call it, I’ve had it and seem to have recovered. But an incident that happened last week got the brain into gear again and here we are. Read on.
I might have mentioned in previous articles how much I love Sooke. I particularly love the wildlife. When I lived on the prairies, I would have to drive to the south end of the city to see urban deer or way, way out to the forest (no forests nearby) to hope to see anything else.
But here, Omigod. Yesterday alone, I counted eleven deer on the ride home, numerous seals when I was out on the water, hummingbirds, a little hawk, two bald eagles and a blue heron gliding overhead. And I’m probably forgetting something.
But I’m talking to the converted, I know. Many of you will have grown up with this wealth around you and I see numerous postings that reiterate all that I have just said. What’s making me write about this today, however, is a situation that occurred last week. This one happened with that king of wildlife in Sooke, a beautiful big black bear.
I was taking a walk into town. As I was about to step off of a path and onto Grant Road, a bear suddenly appeared coming from the opposite side. Okay. I’ve now lived in Sooke long enough. No panic. Not much fear. I’ve heard several comments about a bear around lately, so no running, hysterics or any other nonsense. What did I do instead? I slowed to a crawl but kept walking. Towards him. So far, not a problem for either Smokey or I. All good.
But then, a car stopped as the big guy began to cross the road. All was still good until a second car stopped and honked at the first one. Honked long and loudly. What the heck, said the bear. This noise makes me nervous, he said. I’m going to run, that’s what. And I’m going to run right in the direction of that silly woman who is walking towards me. Here I go.
Well. Perhaps at this point, I did get, you know, a little scared. Hmm. This boy is big. And, holy crap, can he move fast!
I finally stopped my forward motion and considered a backwards walk. No, make that a slightly terrified run. There are some trucks behind me. Ones that belong to the construction workers over there – I bet one of them is unlocked. Thinking about it. Thinking hard……..
But then, just as I was finally contemplating an actual escape route, a lovely typical Sooke moment occurred. Before my eyes, yet another car appeared, this one on the side of the road that both the bear and I were on (the honking car having left the scene long ago). The driver, calm as a summer day, put up his hand towards me to indicate that I should stay where I was. He then slowly, slowly moved his small car forward in front of the bear. What a guy. This position blocked the path leading towards me and forced the bear to turn in the other direction. Then, with yet another miracle, that big black body slowly turned and began to enter the bush. At that point, as if this happened every day of the week, this lovely, brave, smart-as-all-get-out man simply waved at me, smiled and drove away.
Sir, if you are reading this, know you are a hero.
And so, the moral of this seemingly mundane story is this: Sooke, what a place you are. Yes, there are occurrences that are unfortunate. There’s road rage and bad driving and random attacks and theft and other things we often hear about. But here’s a story of kindness and just plain goodwill. It’s present in this town, and it’s something we can embrace. It’s a frequent course of action in Sooke and you can see it every day. And because I know it exists here, I’m going to dwell on it. I’m going to think about it, wait for it, notice it and appreciate it. Care to join me?
Way to go, Sooke.
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