Mountain Goats

@2021-04-14

In the hills of North Carolina, there was a young mountain goat named Java.

Java lived near a tall mountain. He grazed on delicious grass in an enclosed pasture. Beyond the fence he could see miles and miles of tall tall mountain ranges, sometimes obscured by white clouds, other times clear as day. He really wished he could explore, climb and ascend the mountains in the distance.

Java's friends were very content with monotonous grass grazing. They were so content that they grazed all day with zero zest for daily life in the enclosure. Java however was less content. Java was a modern mountain goat who listened to podcasts, and caught wind of happenings in the clouds, which were just out of reach. Every morning he would climb to the top of the one small and rocky perch located in his enclosure, just to better catch wind of the going ons in the cloud at the top of the mountain.

One morning Java had had enough. He confronted his fleeting thoughts head on, and jumped the enclosure fence, with dreams dancing in his small goat brain. He would leave his big, safe enclosure, and start up an adventure. He knew that he would find other like minded friends along the way, but he didn't quite know who they would be, what they would look like, or when they would appear.

It wasn't long after Java jumped the fence, he knew he had made a good decision. Not only had he left the monotony of his enclosure, he was soon among others who were already climbing the same mountains that he had gazed upon for so long. There were gophers leaving a trail of dirt not far beyond him. There were old wild flies leading the way. Soon, he reached the foot of the mountain, and was among other goats, not far removed from enclosures of their own. When Java spoke to his new mountain goat friends, he realized some had already been to the clouds, while some still hadn't. Regardless, there was an electricity in the air, as excited mountain goats prepared for the daily Ascent. Up the mountain, and into the clouds. Java quickly fell into a small team of other mountain goats, gophers and wild flies on his periphereal. Elated, he began his Ascent. It was tough, he had to learn how to climb the steep jutting rocks, ford wide cold rivers, but always the more experienced goats helped out along the way. Eventually, Java reached the top of the mountain for the first time. He was among the clouds, and yet, there was still much to learn. Java a bit overwhelmed, descended the mountain. Java's new daily routine became scaling the same mountain day in and day out. Some days, when Java climbed, he learned new tricks for bounding the tall rocks, jumping the wide rivers, ultimately reaching the apex more skillfully each day. Other days, it was a struggle. What he had learned the day before didn't quite work out the same way. But every time he ascended, his goat self became more grizzled and more veteran-like.

Over time Java became a middle aged, excited mountain goat, that had hiked the mountain enough times to learn a few tricks. Fresh young mountain goats joined the daily mountain traversal, and Java helped them just the same way the old mountain goats had helped him. This brought him immense joy. Eventually Java's focus changed from honing his skills, to enjoying the company and scenery along each Ascent. Over time, Java learned the mountain, and the clouds surrounding it like the back of his hoof. Eventually, The luster of the mountain and the cloud began waning, except for the moments when the young goats taught Java some new tricks. Java loved learning new tricks, and began looking forward to learning new perspectives of the mountain each day. He especially loved when the old veterans would impart words of wisdom, and reminesce on the all the other peaks they had scaled. Some small, some much much much taller.

In the same way that Java began thinking of leaving his enclosure not too long ago, he began dreaming of other ventures. Though, this time he didn't learn of the mountains from podcasts, but from the sage old mountain goats, who seemed to have infinite wisdom. Eventually, Java had had enough, he had ascended that damn mountain too many times, all of its apparent secrets had been discovered. And so, Java left for other, much taller mountains with other secrets. Back at the old mountain, Java was missed, his experience was missed, his skills were missed. Ultimately though, he was forgotten. In the exact same way that Java bounded to his first mountain, brimming with joy, new excited mountain goats arrived eager to ascend. Even old grizzled mountain goats still arrived, always ready to guide new mountain goats on their first Ascent.