Alone: A 4,000 Mile Search for Belonging
“I had to do this journey because if I didn’t I felt my soul would die. I set out to sift through the debris of my life – to recover my best self and to find a new way to serve.”
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IN 2011, PROPELLED BY A GROWING sense of dread, Brian Heron embarked on an epic 4,000 mile bicycle adventure through some of America’s most challenging terrain. A series of personal and professional losses left him feeling that his world was crumbling at an alarming rate. His wife of twenty five years had suddenly left one night. Eighteen months later his mother-in-law, with whom we was especially close, died after a four year struggle with dementia. A year after that his stepmother died unexpectedly during a routine, but risky open heart surgery. If that wasn’t enough he was leading a church through a process of closing and putting in place their legacy in the community. He was working himself out of a job. In a short period of four years both his personal and professional life were disintegrating like a sand castle facing high tide.
Replacing Forrest Gump’s running shoes for a bike, he felt compelled to set off. Searching for a feeling of belonging he decided to return to the towns, to the people and the places that had shaped him. He would return to the town of his birth, Bozeman, Montana, where his parents had divorced and his mother disappeared from his life. He would spend a few days in the town of his childhood, Loveland, Colorado, that was the source of his most formative years and painful memories. He would ride through his old college campus where his life most made sense, if only for a few years. And he would return to Northern California where most of his adult life took shape with family, theological education, friends, and serving the community in various capacities.
Along the way he would pedal across the rugged Rocky Mountains of Colorado, survive the lonely and desolate desert of Nevada in the heat of August, and negotiate his way through the jungle of California freeways. He would find himself in the belly of the whale in a drug-infested, paint peeling, shitty motel feeling completely alone and abandoned by the world and God. He would battle thunder and lightning storms, 100 degree heat, cars and semis, an especially bold buffalo, and his own personal demons. He would face the truth of his life, the reality of his dissolving profession, and the losses that life had thrown onto his path.
New York Times bestselling author of the William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Series, Ian Doescher, writes of Brian’s book, “Alone is a compelling journey of personal discovery, religious questioning and spiritual awakening. At times deep, at times sad, at times funny, Heron invites the reader to ride along each day of this remarkable adventure. When it’s over, you’ll feel each of the 4,000 miles in your own soul.”
Join Brian as he follows the pilgrim path on an adventure of personal healing, the renewal of strength and hope, and the rediscovery of his unique place in the world. Take the journey with Brian, look into the pages of your own life, and learn to honor the wounds and the delights of your own yearning soul.
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Speaking and Book Reading Inquiries
Brian Heron is available for your events as a speaker and storyteller sharing his journey, his reflections and heartfelt encouragement for all to find their passion and unique voice. For more information, contact him today.