The Hero's Trail and the Journey of Life

I enjoyed this excerpt from T.A. Barron’s The Hero’s Trail, a thin book designed for younger readers. Barron gave me a signed copy so I read it on the stationary bike. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…

[And] every journey begins with a single person. A hiker — and whatever inner qualities he or she brings to the trail.

That’s true whether the journey is long or short. It could be a full-blown expedition to traverse a whole continent, or a brief side trip to explore a slot canyon…Some embark on lifelong expeditions…others take strenuous side trips, ones that require great courage and determination to save someone else’s life. But in every case, it’s the inner qualities that define the hero — and the hero’s journey.

Just how are those inner qualities revealed? Through our choices. For every choice matters, whether it’s big or small, conscious or unconscious, repeated or rare. And every choice is an expression of who we are.

Our choices, then, are like footsteps. Each one takes us farther down the trail, affecting the route we take, the pace we set, and the deeds we do along the way. And each one is shaped by two primary forces: our own inner selves, and the trail itself — the landscape of life. So our inner qualities shape our choices; our choices become our footsteps; and our footsteps become our journey.

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