March 17, 2008

"Along the Templar Trail"

Two Men.
Two Continents.
One Quest.

by Brandon Wilson

Book Description:
Walking in the nearly forgotten footsteps of the legendary first Knights Templar, an American and a 68-year old Frenchman embark on a mission all their own. Traveling simply and trusting in the kindness of strangers, they set off to carry a message of peace along a route historically used for war. Their incredible journey leads them thousands of miles across eleven countries and two continents toward Jerusalem. After the outbreak of war, everything is uncertain - except for their steadfast and perhaps life-threatening resolve. ALONG THE TEMPLAR TRAIL weaves a richly detailed Chaucerian tapestry of characters, intrigue, and adventure with personal growth and social commentary. Their poignant tale is a powerful testimony to the courage of the human spirit and an affirmation of the dream of peace still very much alive in the world today. It also provides a signpost for those who dream of making a similar journey along this trail; one destined to become a path of peace for people of all nations, cultures and faiths.

My Book Review:
Brandon is a friend of mine, but we've never met. You could say we are more like family, brothers of the road. We both explore this world we live in and the world inside of us. It is something of a shock to us, how the world's civilizations can be so at odds with each other because when we travel, we seem only to find open hearts despite differences.

It is with this in mind, that Brandon decided, with a fellow 'pilgrim' Emile, to walk from Dijon France to Jerusalem for Peace. And I write that with a capital 'P'. While both are experienced travelers, this was not an easy undertaking. Besides language barriers, they had almost no reliable information on the safest routes or possible accommodations. The road was long, and usually dangerous to anyone on foot. Their path took them 3000 miles in 6 months.

But despite all the aching muscles, near-death collisions with speeding trucks, and more rain than the earth could need, Brandon still is able to share through his words the beauty of the landscape they walk through, the grandeur of the history, and probably most of all, the wonderful people who, despite having little 'riches', opened their hearts and homes to these weary travelers. Everywhere Brandon walked, the message was perfectly clear from the 'average' man, "We want peace!" Now, in only governments could see that.

It was a long trip and Brandon has tried to bring the reader on that journey, complete with all the bad and the good, including heightened worry as war escalated in the Mideast. But it is with a kind of joy that everyone, Brandon and his readers, finally reach Jerusalem. But Brandon sees it only as stop along the path. We must keep moving toward peace, we must. And here I quote:

"We are all pilgrims, each on their own path, each with their own story to tell. Walking is only a first step, but one we each can take to discover the peace within. In that way, eventually, war will become unconscionable. Darkness will be dispelled with light--one person, one step at a time."

Other books by Brandon Wilson:
Yak Butter Blues
Dead Men Don't Leave Tips