Going with the, uh, poop

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, February 23, 2011

So here we were on a beautiful February afternoon, good friends bumping down the back roads of Covington County on an adventure to collect goat poop. Yep, you read that right, bouncing down the county’s back roads in an SUV with an open sunroof going to get goat poop for the garden.

The SUV followed a blue car that held two other good friends leading the way to the goat poop. Funny, when I started the day I had no thought of it including an adventure involving goats or travel. And if you’d hinted that not only would I have this experience but that I would also enjoy the heck out of it; well I doubt anyone coming up with such a suggestion.

Still, it happened. We arrived at the home of the driver of the blue car and hopped out like excited kids anxious to see the goats that are the source of said poop. (For the youngest one among us, my teenage daughter, the hammock was more interesting than the promise of goat contact.)

Not us grownups; we were giddy for goats. And, sure enough there they were bleating and running and jumping with excitement as we approached. They came up sticking their noses through the openings in the fence vying for our attention, probably more in hopes we had food than any interest in us personally.

They were not disappointed. Our host brought out a scope of food and we laughed as they pushed each other around trying to get at the goodies. She explained a little about goat behavior as she sprinkled food in different spots to lessen some of the pushing going on in the pen.

Then we set off to see the organic garden spot, and the studio where our friend creates wonderful pieces of jewelry, finally ending up sitting on her screened porch listening to a cricket chorus as the last rays of sun streaked through the woods behind her house.

We talked and laughed while her husband loaded three buckets full of goat byproducts into the back of the SUV. Then we rounded up my daughter (she does not find sitting with us in the dark nearly as entertaining as we do) bid our friend and her husband farewell and set out for my house.

With the stars popping out overhead, I directed the driver through the twists and turns of different back roads. As we sailed through the early evening, we talked about our spontaneous decision to go on a goat poop collecting adventure.

“How fun was that,” said the driver.

“It was great,” her passengers said almost in unison.

Later as I settled down to sleep, I thought about the afternoon and how nice it was to just go with the flow of an unplanned moment, kind of like we did when we were kids. And I thought how very few times we allow ourselves that pleasure once we get all “grownup.”

This morning I read a quote that fit the experience.

“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.” Rachel Carson

There was a meditation following the quote that read:

“…Perhaps today we can dance to the music that only we can hear; or share an ice cream; or color a lion purple outside the lines…”

And, I added, or throw caution to the wind and bump down back roads with friends on a goat poop gathering adventure.