I wish I had a photo of him, my basement bear. I have a vivid recollection of being about 3 years old sitting in our basement among a bunch of what I’ll assume were bags of clothes, and coming across a big black and yellow stuffed bear. He was larger than life, the same size as me and we became fast friends. I talked to that bear, played with him, danced with and dressed him, imagined with him and when my time was through I’d hide him. I was seriously attached to that bear.
At the time I had 2 older sisters who were closer in age with each other so it was natural that they stuck together and I was often third girl out. It wasn’t anyone’s fault or intention, it just was. I had to find my own entertainment so that bear became my playmate, my escape, my secret hiding place, my joy and he represented everything safe to me. I could be whoever I wanted to be, or even who I actually was with him. He put up with my shenanigans and I felt like I could reach the stars when I was with him. My imaginary world was fully alive when I was sitting in that pile in the basement with my bear.
Mr. Bear has been on my mind as of late so of course I’m trying to figure out why 44 years later I am reflecting on that time in my life. Maybe it’s as simple as, it was uncomplicated living and I’d like a bit of that right now?!
What I keep going back to though, is that it was not only the bear but the place. I felt secure and safe, set apart from all the the hustle and bustle of family and friends and conflict and sibling rivalry. When I needed my space, I had a little piece of heaven all my own. I really was – and still am – quite a simple person when sitting in bags of ‘stuff’ on a cement floor with my bear is my happy place!
My recent memories and reflections of Mr. Bear are helping me recognize that without that sweet spot, that safe place for my imagination to run wild and for my inner self to flourish with ideas and the freedom to ‘be’, I cannot possibly begin to connect with the creativity that burns inside. I’ve also come to realize that a person needs just that – a safe place. We all need somewhere we can go to relax, hide out, escape, refresh….whatever the need is….so that when we come out of that place we pick ourselves up, “keep calm and carry on” (I think I’ve heard that phrase somewhere recently…?).
Where do you go to rest your soul, to take time apart to regain your get-up-and-go? What memories trigger for you that ‘ahhh I’m there’ feeling?
One more thing. I discovered that maybe, just maybe, this particular memory and what it represents is the reason why I seem to always have a pile of stuff accumulating on my bedroom floor…. 😉