location: high lake
season: early summer
old man teetering along a ridgeline
small rocks trickle down a scree slope
mountain goat looks up from eating lichen
i've been hanging out with a bunch of mountain goats at 8,000' over the last few years. i've grown quite fond of them and have made repeated trips during different seasons to see them in their natural environment. you can see some of their habitat at road's end, tree spirit and al piste.
of their many admirable qualities, one obvious one is curiosity.
sometimes, especially in a large group, when seeing me, one will spook and they will all take off at a brisk pace. often, however, they will continue whatever they are doing, foraging, and keep an eye on me. with a little time, some will get an obvious curious look on their face, turning heads side to side, sizing me up and down, wondering how this skinny creature with totally unsuitable legs got here. a few have walked straight at me stopping as close as two feet away.
they are curious.
the first time that happened, the goat was moving fairly fast and i wasn't sure if it was charging or attacking. it stopped six feet away and continued looking me over. after a few minutes it turned away, found a bare spot of dirt among the rocks, kicked up some dust, and settled in to chew it's cud. i sat on a rock.
we meditated together for awhile as dawn came up over the ridgeline.
in my healing/meditative practice, i've found curiosity to be a very useful energy/approach when something arises, physical or emotional. relating to it with curiosity tends to be more helpful than most other options like: fear, denial, avoidance, judgement, anger - to name a few from a long list.
maybe curiosity allows these goats to survive and thrive in a very challenging environment.
this is the first of an upcoming series titled: meditating with mountain goats.