Close to 3,000 years ago the ancient Greeks believed that Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in mainland Greece, was the home of the gods. With the highest peak topping out at 9,573 feet, legend told that 12 gods lived on the mountain and ruled the universe, controlling everything from the weather, to the sea, to livestock and agricultural, to love and beauty.
A few years ago, I befriended the untamed landscape of Whistlers Mountain and completed the six-hour hike to the summit. While it was a great physical test for a novice mountain climber, the true breathtaking moments came from the view.
What also set this hike apart from my typical non-deity days was a face-to-face encounter with a brown bear cub. At first thought, the serendipitous rendezvous in the forest felt welcoming, as if the cub was introducing me to his playground. Then, remembering my backpack full of snacks and that bear cubs are closely followed by their helicopter parents, my thoughts went from delight to fright and my lack of almighty strength compared to an angry mama bear.
I quickly moved away from the cub and began feverishly shaking my bear bell like a Christmas caroller trying to wake up an entire neighbourhood. Fortunately, these bare necessities paid off and I was able to safely continue my hike.
As Winston Zeddemore famously said, “when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say YES!”