Thursday, 6 August 2015

The Road is How

Finished August 6
The Road is How: A Prairie Pilgrimage through Nature, Desire, and Soul by Trevor Herriot

This book is the story of a journey, both physical and mental. It all starts with Herriot falling from a ladder doing home repairs. Reading a book during his recovery, he is convinced that he needs to do a journey in the form of a long walk. A native friend of his tells him that walking is a good idea, but that he needs to first go sit on a hill while fasting and figure out why he wants to go for a walk.
Herriot does this, and comes out of it with a few things. One is his imbalance in terms of personal relationships. He wants to understand his high level of desire, finding meaning in the relationship between a man and a woman in his own life, and grow up in terms of relationships. Second is that he wants to reawaken his spiritual side, and go with purpose toward what comes next in his life. Third is that he needed to look inside himself to things that needed changing. After thinking about it, and recognizing his strong connection with nature, especially with birdlife, he determines to walk from his home in Regina to his cabin about forty miles east of the city.
He knows he will have a make a few detours from a straight path, but he will go as straight as he can, along roads, road allowances, and fence lines. Along the way he notices his surroundings, the subtle changes in landscape, the animals, birds, and people he encounters. He also reflects, on his relationship with his wife Karen, on his strong sexual desires, on his feelings toward women generally, on the birds and their environment that he has advocated for, on his male bonding experiences, on his connections with nature.
At times I found his musings too nebulous to be meaningful to me as a reader, but this is his story, and he needs to express himself in the way that makes sense to him. His journey is interesting, and he does seem to get something from it, and that is what really matters.

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