One city is built on the square mile principle; every inch measurable and maximized for the owners, each square inch is sold and resold, marked up, traded down; every skyscraper fields a magnificent view yet many streets are cold from the deep shadows the towers make. The inner city is paved with gold and has a labyrinth of tunnel journeys and caves connected by long corridors, lift shafts and stairs.
This city is inhabited by Bears.
The other city is designed by a life-giving community, with open landscape, cozy rooms, and play stations for the younger members to learn and flourish, nesting nooks for conversations, space for innovation and creativity coffee breaks; there are support systems that barter resources and reduce waste. The inner city is a mesh of inter-connected live wires and tree top nests.
This city is inhabited by Birds.
The Bears and the Birds are all creatures of the earth that live and breathe the same air, drink the same water, eat the same resources; however they live in different ways, they have different biological needs, although often similar aspirations and dreams for their future.
Their challenge is to understand each other as the two cities stand side by side, growing intertwined ever more over the last decades where viral changes and ways of working have become blended in style. They know their world is changing and surrounding market boundaries are collapsing, evolving, and revolving in ever decreasing circles and natural disasters attack the very land they live on. They face a world-in-crisis and obstacles that threatened to undermine life as known previously.
The Bears prowl their city, some are gruff and dangerous; some are strong and proud of their mighty presence; others are cub Bears who are learning from their elders; some are afraid of their own shadows and yet many teddy Bears, warm and cuddly, keen to protect and nurture their young.
The Birds are very variable, plumes of many colored feathers, bodies of different sizes and wing spans; big and small, wild and tame; some fly in formation, others live as family units, others fight their own battles, while many twitter happily over the garden wall. They all sing beautiful and creative songs. However once damaged or caught on the ground or attacked by Bears, they are terrified of losing a limb, a wing, or a feather.
Some Birds are terrifying even to the Bears; they swop and soar; they prey on the most vulnerable; the cub Bear often heads for the caves when he sees a Bird coming! However most Birds sing from their hearts and are the evening song, the sweet sound on the airwaves of life as they fly from work to home; they flow with the winds, and dive for worms to feed their offspring.
Nowadays Birds go to the City of Bears regularly for their daily work, seeking bigger worms and prospects for their life’s survival. It’s tough going for the Birds as the Bears are so big and strong and have built their city to be the powerhouse that generates wealth and provides resources for everyone’s cave and nest. In the big world outside, it is often a perilous journey for the Birds, as they swoop and perch on the higher levels of the skyscrapers, looking for safe habitats and life-saving perches.
Many Bears don’t want the Birds to get into their work caves and high-rise ownership stakes; however the Birds are agreed that they are here to stay, and growing in numbers every year. They know that for the survival of their species, Birds and Bears, the only way forward is together. They long to bring their birdsong to be truly valued and honored by the Bears, as an intrinsic part of a fulfilled and successful life. They value the Bears for their strength and tenacity, and their ability to bring in the major provisions; they also love the adoration the Bears give them as Birds when they are at home in their own city.
Now that the Birds have discovered the city that the Bears have created, they want a piece of the worm pie. They know they can add new ingredients – natural skills, more emotional relationships, different expert knowledge to that which the Bears have. They know they can deliver much of what the Bears offer yet with a nurturing spirit that maintains a healthy lifestyle alongside the tradition success that Bears seek in pots of golden honey. Yet given all that the Birds bring, the gateways to the high skyscrapers often have difficult and closed combination locks to bar their way.
Singing a new song
The Birds stridently continue to sing their beautiful songs, lyrics that bring many tears of happiness and joy; others that tell of fears and frustration; many written to bring tunes of harmony and cords of perfection to a noisy chaotic world. The Birds want to bring this new harmonic to the service repertoire for all but often the Bears don’t understand these songs and when they try to sing along, their deep voices threaten the very nature of the Bird song. The Bears love their ‘pow-wow’ warrior games, and ganging up to play sport together, munching happily on wood bark and accumulating their bank of red berries and golden honey.
Probably to an alien visiting these cities, the Bears and the Birds might seem at odds with each other for there is a fatal attraction between them; Bears and Birds love each other, and when the attraction flourishes, they form families and are partners of the new generation of Birds and Bears, and can find true happiness in each other’s arms.
However there is trouble brewing…
The Bird songs are disturbed, the Bears sense danger afoot. There are rumblings far and wide and getting closer. What will happen next as the Bears and the Birds realize the mutual threats attacking both cities? Will the Bears listen to the Bird’s plan to work and live together; will they ever see eye to eye, beak to beak, bear pad to bear pad? The tale continues….