and his little horns are just beginning to poke out. When he tries to jump on my shoulders, he slides off. Note to self: next time you sign up to do Goat Yoga in the park, don't wear a slippery shirt.
But the other goats manage to clamber up, no problem, so maybe it's only Baby Blue Eyes. I can't stop laughing at his little clompy hooves. The way his mouth scrunches up when he's eating grass out of my hand. When he piddles on me, I surprise myself by laughing.
Maybe this is me now, finding joy in the little things. The toad I find nestled in my thyme. The cupcakes a regular patron brings into the library to share with the staff. The free mocktails my husband and I are handed when we stroll into one of the trendy shops in our neighborhood.
This is a thing now, apparently. Mocktails. The bartender who makes the drinks explains it to us. We want to be inclusive, he says. Why should drinkers have all the fun drinks?
The drinks are fun. Refreshingly cold and gingery. There are mocktails at a party we go to later in the week too. The party is outside, at an urban farm downtown. Between the interstates and interspersed around a struggling neighborhood are twelve city blocks of vegetable and herb gardens. The volunteers raise money by selling the food at farmers markets. They give food away to people who live in the community and teach anyone who's interested how to garden.
My husband and a friend and I wander under the trees, carrying our mocktails. Teens from the neighborhood give tours and guide us through the interactive stations. Paint a rock. Make a nature-inspired collage. Assemble teabags out of freshly cut herbs. And here, says one of the volunteers, pointing at rows and rows of greens, is the U Pick Garden, where everyone is invited to take whatever they need.
Even flowers, she says, because don't we all deserve something beautiful?
At the farmer's market close to our house, one of the farmers is selling mocktail mixes. Mango and orange it says on the label. Our daughter is visiting for the weekend, and she immediately perks up. Mocktails! she says. I love these!
We buy a bottle, and after we clean up from the Goat Yoga goat piddle, we crack open the bottle, and my husband joins us on the patio. Okay, the truth is, it's just mango and orange juice and... is this really worth fifteen dollars a bottle?
The evening is so unbelievably lovely I don’t even know how to describe it to you.