The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I've always loved that poem.
He took the road less traveled, and it made all the difference. We are left to think that the difference was a good difference, but it's never really spelled out. For all we know, it could have been a horrible difference.
Probably not, though. Like much of life, it's just different.
This poem came to mind when I think of how close we came to dropping everything and sailing the ICW (Intra Coastal Waterway) this fall. We'd be having the adventure of long and interesting trip. On the other hand, we would have lost out on all the time spent with friends and family. Maybe next fall we'll finally get to take that trip.
I sometimes wonder if there are parallel worlds out there. Perhaps in some version of the world, my lovely wife and I are sailing southward to warm waters. Maybe that me is wondering what would have happened had we stayed home for the holidays.
Some scientists theorize that every decision splits the world off into multiple realities. Boggles the mind. If that is true, I'm sure I'm not in many of those realities. There have been enough close calls in my life that's the odds are against me still being around. It's a sobering thought. Some of those less traveled roads kept me from being run over. Other times, those less traveled roads brought me to the edge of nowhere.
I wonder what old Robert Frost was really thinking of. He once lived on a couple farms not all that far from me. We've traveled some of the same roads.
I don't regret the decisions made in the past. The past is the past. We don't know where all roads lead. Life seems to have a horrible element of chance -or a wonderful element of chance. We are often pretty bad at judging how something will affect us in the long run. Those horrible experiences may be what gave us the skills and will to overcome something bigger that might have destroyed us.
Well, one thing for sure. We've got to choose one path or the the other -else we'd never get out of the woods.