Getting Sweden’s Goat, AgainPosted: December 24, 2013
Last year, I learned that the town of Gävle in Sweden has a tradition of building a Christmas goat out of straw. I learned that at the same time that I learned that the goat burned down last year.
Inspired by the sight of last year’s Christmas Goat in flames, I wrote a post proclaiming that when writing this blog made me rich I would commission straw goats all across North America. My goats would be constructed and burned for charity. These charity goat events would be called Get My Goat. I stand by that proclamation, though the blog has not made me rich yet.
I’m happy to inform you that for the twenty-seventh time since 1966, the Gävle Goat burned down this year. The 2013 Goat went up in flames on December 21.
The Gävle Goat inspires me. I love the blind faith that it took to build the first straw goat (it burned). The fact that they keep building it, year after year, says a lot about the human spirit. We will persevere. We are resilient. We rise, phoenix like, from the ashes…if there were a phoenix that was a straw goat.
And though I am generally opposed to both vandalism and arson, I’m inspired by those who find a way to burn The Goat. They succeed time and again. The builders try to deter them with fences, guards, camera surveillance and by fire proofing The Gävle Goat. This year’s goat burned despite the most elaborate counter measures yet. Vandalism and arson are bad, but you’ve got to respect the determination of those who get Sweden’s goat.
I’ve found the joy in my life through blind faith and determination. I’m grateful for those who care for me and the occasions with them that delight me. Most of all, I’m fortunate because I have the chance to return their love.
Don’t be deterred. Believe in happiness.
Merry Christmas to all.