A Foot In Both Worlds

“Part of life is finding the landscape that matches your inner journey.” Kristen Hannah, author, The Nightengale (September 25, 1960)


In 1948, Earl Shaffer told a friend he was going to “walk off the war” to work out the sights, sounds, and losses of World War II. (Warrior Expeditions) His walk marks the beginning of a tradition that continues today on the Appalachian Trail—military veterans finding their way home.  

 Warriors have always carried the psychic wound of our communal rage, our inner battles. In millennia past, when the fight had been won or lost, the soldier would begin the journey home, on foot, walking through and beyond the place of brokenness to a place of coherence. Today, in seeking the trail, these warriors continue this soul-purpose of creating equilibrium between our inner and outer worlds. “walking off the war.”

 Some experiences are so profound that this balance sways wildly. When our inner world has been tasked with providing context and meaning for a polarity of jarring extremes—life and death, certainty in the midst of a persistent mystery—the task before us is to choose wholeness, to define for ourselves a congruity that can provision the path forward.  

 This is what I know. Equilibrium is an expression of motion.