It was very dark and cold as I climbed out of my warm bed to head to a goat farm where I have been doing an apprenticeship. I have always had a love for goats but never really thought about them until a friend in Cuba gifted me with a Christmas goat. Yes, my goat and now goats live in Cuba. I figured since I will be visiting often I had better learn something about them and with all of the political mayhem circulating in the ethers, the goats and the early morning have been a welcome reprieve from the madness.
A lot of learning happens on a goat farm and some of it is not the hands on kind. Of course there is that but being around a goat one also learns a lot about themselves. Dealing with another species known for its intelligence and stubborness can try the most patient saint. It calls for an inner calm and an ability to meet the goat on the same level. It pays to think like a goat. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but anything can usually be accomplished with a bribe; and for a goat an animal cookie is worth its weight in gold. Politics does not take up space in the goat brain. They have no political affiliations or no prejudices based on race or religion. However, a funny shaped hat or an unusual jacket or look might cause them to rethink any dealings with you.
Life on a farm can be a happy or downright sad. It takes discipline and nerves of steel to not fall into a blubbering heap when death makes a visit to claim a dearly loved life,be it adult or a newborn kid. It is hard and you feel it but there comes a time when you learn it is part of the cycle. You cry, you accept and you move forward loving even more and knowing in your soul that it will happen again. When new life comes you learn to nurture and give of yourself no matter the time of day. You quickly learn alertness and take nothing for granted. A baby goat’s head is not soft. I learned that the hard way. A few of the goats on the farm are horned and that my friends can bring its own set of issues. Horns can hurt and severely injure. Pay attention.
In the dark of the early morn, you come to notice the peace and quiet before the worldly chaos begins. You watch as you see the first peak of sunrise and realize how blessed you are to be here at this time and at this moment. You breathe and smell the fresh hay as the two hearty burros beckon you to get on with the task at hand. You know you are where you are meant to be and you are never going to be the same.