Long ago I was sitting on the edge of a cliff atop Black Mountain in Tennessee. I’d been meditating there for a while when I heard something suddenly crashing through the Laurel thickets behind me. As I looked to my right, an elk stag appeared a few feet away. It looked me matter-of-factly in the eye for a second, then leapt from the edge of the cliff. It was probably 30 or 40 feet down to the forest canopy below, into which he disappeared with a rustle. A second later I heard him bounding off through the forest. He seemed to be on some urgent, important, and unfathomable mission.