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The Search

In 1973, Peter Matthiessen spent two months trekking the Himalayas with his biologist friend George Schaller. They hoped to see one of the world’s most impressive and elusive animals, the snow leopard.

The journey was physically taxing, mentally draining, and all-around exhausting.

On the voyage, the pair encountered all sorts of animals: yaks, goats, lizards, frogs, roosters, horses. But where was the snow leopard?

Nowhere and everywhere. They’d stumble across small evidences of its proximity - some scat here, a scratch there. Still, after 60 days of looking, the leopard never revealed itself.

Writing about his experience, Matthiessen concluded, “I think I must be disappointed, having come so far, and yet I do not feel that way. I am disappointed, and also, I am not disappointed. That the snow leopard is, that it is here, that its frosty eyes watch us from the mountain — that is enough.”

Schaller added, “You know something? We’ve seen so much, maybe it’s better if there are some things that we don’t see.”

#disappointment #hope #resilience


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