The Demon on Their Shoulder
[A guest post by MTM]
Meriwether Lewis was far more human than the comic-book history hero depicted in the grade school textbooks.
Imagine his emotion having led his crew of 30-some tough men to drag and row their crafts upstream for over a thousand miles, only to be faced not with the gentle crest of a continental divide, but the vertical wall of the Rocky Mountains. Imagine the doubt and the defeat, and then appreciate the leadership it must have taken to get his Corps of Discovery to ascend that wall to see the unknown that was on the other side.
Lewis and Clark accomplished their remarkable Journey early in life. What kind of demon must have haunted an explorer who discovered the limits of land, and then had to return to some kind of ‘desk job.’
When Meriwether Lewis was walking up the Natchez Trace in 1809, he certainly carried that demon along for the ride; another demon may have walked by his side. We’ll never know which demon took his life one dark night on the Trace, but having read Andra Watkins’ To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, I have a much better appreciation for what kind of man Lewis was, in all of his heroism and fragility.
Andra has come upon the 2/3 point of her 444-mile walk, about the point in the journey that Lewis was when he came upon the seemingly impenetrable wall of the Rockies. Like all of us, she carries a demon on her shoulder, and it’s not Voodoo Lou (she also has demons in her shoes).
If you are reading this, you are part of the Corps she has brought along on this trip. Her birthday is this Monday, the day she will surpass 300 miles. What will help her get over the hump, and make her way to the finish in Nashville? What Action can you take for Andra?
I have a few ideas: buy the book (for yourself, or for a friend); if you’ve bought the book, read it; if you’ve read the book, review it (Amazon, GoodReads); if you’ve reviewed it, recommend it (maybe you remember the old Heather Locklear ‘tell two friends’ commercial); if you’ve recommended it, go to your local library or independent bookshop and tell them to carry it…..if you’ve done all these things, maybe go back to the beginning and start over 😉….it’s going to be her Birthday, after all, and she does show up here every day with a free story for you that entertains and/or enlightens. Thank you. (MTM)
Click here to see the best photos from Day 21 of Andra’s Natchez Trace 444-mile walk: Andra Watkins Tumblr
You’ve still got more than three weeks until April 15. Tweet, Facebook, type and review your way to Charleston, South Carolina in the To Live Forever Journey to Charleston Contest. The more you enter, the better your chance to WIN. Click here to find out more: Support My Aching Feet.
Read the book that started this insane journey with her parents. To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is available in paperback and e-book formats at these outlets: Click to Purchase To Live Forever.
Today’s Reader Question. About Dad.