How to (not) shoot a polar bear

Coming ashore

‘Hello bear, here we are. How ya doin?’

Our lead guide was talking to an enormous white bear which had appeared 20 metres in front of us. It stood straight up on its hind legs, a dazzling tower of power. It blinked.  It focused. It tried to make sense of this huddle of hyperventilating polar bear spotters fumbling with our cameras.

But I was not afraid – and not because there were eight other tasty morsels, including my children, between the bear and me. Continue reading

Tasting snow

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Face down in the white, skis at odds, snowflakes up my left nostril, I practiced mindfulness and observed silence.

The silence of the mountains.

The silence of a metre of fresh snow.

The silence of The Instructor, a relentlessly positive man, finally lost for words.

Clarity came at last.

Skiing is suicide and I am not ready to die. Continue reading