As I was entering Santa Fe National Forest at dusk in search of a campsite, I spotted three tan-brown animals on the edge of the road around an upcoming bend, slowly making their way up to the woodland edge. At first I naturally took them for deer, but as my truck got closer I couldn't mistake their feline movements: these were mountain lions.
I slowed the truck to a stop as it came to parallel the pack, who at this point were also stopped and had all eyes on me. The front of the group was close enough for me to make out its facial expressions. They were sizing me up, weighing the potential of a possible threat.
Dumbstruck, motionless, I stared in awe at the creatures for what felt like hours as they determined I was nothing to worry about, and silently ambled up the hillside to disappear back into the woods.
I decided I'd be better off sleeping in the truck that night, as opposed to pitching a tent.
From the moment I awoke by a frozen stream the next morning, this encounter echoed incessantly through my mind.
Wildcats don't just *show* themselves to you, I reasoned, so why did these creatures appear in my path, at this particular place and time?
And why three full-grown adults, together? Mountain lions are solitary creatures. What were they trying to show me?
Cursory research into cougar medicine turned up very intimidating messages of courage, leadership, and swift decisiveness: acting from gut instinct at a moment's notice, trusting one's intuition when the moment demands it.
Why did I receive such powerful medicine that night?
Well, I think I found out the very next day.
But it's a long and rather personal story, the kind you don't just share with the whole damn world on a whim. Hey, even oversharing podcasters gotta keep some things to themselves.
Instead, I'd like to offer this song, written and recorded yesterday and today, entitled "Mountain Lion Medicine." It's my best attempt to translate the healing I received from some very powerful experiences while on the road last month into music.
Listeners of the podcast may recognize the final moments -- that's the riff from the old theme song fka "Winter Solstice" (you can find that here on Patreon) given new life in a very different context. You never can predict when an old fragment of a song will come in handy in the future. Note to self: write more notes to self.
Anyway I hope you dig this one. I didn't think I had any more rock'n'roll songs left in me, then this thing just flowed right through me yesterday and I have to honor the form in which I receive the message, ya know what I mean? Listen for the three mountain lions during the guitar solo ;)
I think I really had to get it out of my system before I could move on to anything else. I could feel this song bubbling in the back of my head for the last week now, and it's a huge relief to put it up on the shelf as more or less finished, for now anyway. How's that for swift decisiveness? :P