Our lives here have been centered around the Appalachian Trail for the last few months, and for a few more months to come.
So I tend to think about it, quite a lot.
It struck me that the AT is a metaphor of life.
We start the trail at given point. In life, this is birth!
As a person starts the long hike, they may not have their "hiking legs" yet. As days go by, stamina is gained. You learn what you really need to carry, and what to let go.
Like a child, every day brings new sights and wonders.
You are on a grand journey!
The Appalachian Trail goes up and down hill after hill. You climb mountain after mountain. Some people say it is full of pointless ups and downs!
Like life, you just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
There are side trails... some you feel compelled to explore, and others you are content to pass by.
You meet people. Some you grow close to, and journey with as long as you will. Others you leave behind as quickly as your legs can carry you. There may be some you would just as soon not see again, yet you are bound to them by the journey itself.
The end of The Trail is your goal... Mt. Katahdin, if your journey began at the Southern end of The Trail, Mt. Springer if you began at the Northern point.
Some people don't make it... for whatever reason, they leave The Trail. Friends are left behind to trudge on.
Some folks make it the entire distance. Finishing The Trail, achieving their goal.
While starting The Trail is likened to birth, finishing it is not likened to death. There are more trails out there.
We just keep walking.