It was spring in the high hills, and the air moved lazily beneath a sun glowing with delicious warmth. It had taken her a good hour to trudge the steep path from the village to the upper pastures.
Years ago her ancestor bears had cut that trail. Then, over many seasons, they’d repeatedly made the journey to labor hard in moving uncounted rocks from one place to another. By clearing the land they had created both clear pastures and ageless fences to mark the boundaries.
But today was not a day to ponder work done or work to do. Today was a day for bubbles.
Climbing over the stone fence, she eased herself down into ankle-deep grass and sighed. It was always a joy to be up here and look out over the vast extent of Bearland. In the distance the blue mountain range marked the land’s northern border.
She bent forward and placed the bottle of sudsy water on the ground. She’d carried it from the kitchen all those miles away. Pausing a moment to enjoy the sun’s warmth soaking through her fur, she finally dipped her bubble maker in the liquid, straightened, and blew her first bubble of the day. She bent again, dipped, straightened, and blew another bubble. And again, and again.
Soon a haze of gossamer spheres floated every which way on the gentle breeze. She laughed out loud, blew another three bubbles, then hugged herself in delight.
Deep within her body she felt a movement begin, one that echoed the bubbles floating before her. It seemed as if those inner bubbles started in her feet and, rising up through the entire length of her body, exited in a rush through the fur on her head. Their passage not only brought the most delicious tingling sensations, but also a sense of unbridled joy. Grinning broadly she spun round and round in a circle, the bubbles her weightless dancing partners.
She lingered in the high pastures till the sudsy water was gone and the last of the bubbles had floated away. Then, choosing a comfy, grassy spot on the other side of the stone fence, she sat and spent an hour just gazing out over Bearland.
Here was light, here was joy. In the whole wide world, what better place to be?