This art appears in the house of a trail angel named Laura along the Pacific Crest Trail, whom my friend Heather stayed with in the long hiking journey she is currently on.
Magical trail angels are folks who welcome in hikers with weary footsteps and heavy bags and sore bodies in need of a warm shower and a soft bed and a hot meal, offering sanctuary and kindness.
In the book "If Women Rose Rooted," Sharon Blackie writes of the Heroine's Journey: “The Journey requires her to explore the source of her own belonging, find her centre, begin to recover an understanding of her own place in the great, connected web of the world. She is walking her way back to being.”
Whether it’s on the Pacific Crest Trail or along this thru-hike called life, whether it’s at a turning point in our lives or stuck with a flat tire in our soul, whether we’ve found ourselves utterly “lost” or at an intersection we never fathomed, our journeys are full of trail angels who appear to love and support and guide us.
“The most valuable allies are those who teach us that we cannot succeed alone - and more, that it is meaningless to succeed alone, for an essential feature of the Heroine’s Journey is uncovering the power of community,” Sharon writes. “There are many kinds of allies, and some of them are human. People who help us find the path, or who help to keep us safe as we pass along it. People who offer us sanctuary or wisdom; who teach us necessary skills or set us challenging tasks which help us to grow.”
The path is ours. We are not alone on it. Trail angels in all forms are waiting to help if you’re willing. Sometimes even with a tent on your back, someone is willing to give you a bed. Sometimes a trail angel of life at first seems to obstruct your path when really they are showing you a truer road.
In a women's circle also, we learn we’re not alone. Though our roads may vary, we are connected. We are all someone else’s trail angel. And I can say so many people are mine. We’re a circle of trail angels, supporting each other.
This art, with a heart immersed between the heart chakra and throat chakra and again amidst the volcanic fire, reminds me of Lake Atitlan. I would love to meet you here, in the circle, and along the road.