One of my favorite things is reading a used book and stumbling across underlined sentences and notes scribbled in the margins. I try to imagine who the previous reader was before me, and how I know nothing except for the fact that we are moved by the same words, and this strangely connects us in a magical way.
What if trails were like sentences in books that you could underline and write in the margins?
"This was the trail that I ran time and again while grieving the loss of my brother."
"This trail was the only familiar place to me when I first moved to California, and it gave me a sense of belonging for all the times I felt uprooted and disoriented."
"This trail was where I processed through the most painful parts of my divorce. It was long enough for me to sort through the anger and bitterness, until I finally broke through to the other side and found grace and forgiveness."
"This was the trail where I realized she was the woman I wanted to marry."
If a trail could be underlined like a sentence in a book, it would be a history of sorts, passed on from runner to runner, making us understand and appreciate the sacredness of the ground we tread upon. It would connect us all together in pleasure and in pain- just as running does.
I'm tempted to leave notebooks and pens at each trailhead from now on.