This is, I think, my father’s favorite poem and a personal favorite of mine as well. I don’t know if it was the images of trees breaking through the ruins I was thinking about when I was writing The Old Broken House With The Tree Growing Through It instead of sleeping last night or something else but this morning I awoke with these old familiar words dancing on my tongue.
I could wax eloquent about the symbolism in the two equal paths (so cliché) but I won’t. Before I say what I’m feeling with this today I want to put out a caveat: my thoughts on this piece for today have to do with a reflection on the self not a reflection (or rather judgement) on the other. You don’t know someone else’s walk and the reason or rationale behind the choices they make on it. You don’t have the right to try to force your way into someone else’s journey because you care for them; you will be invited to that path or you won’t. If you are invited, marvelous, and if you are not, again don’t hold that decision in judgement. There can be closeness and caring in a relationship even at times when walking alone is necessary and valuable.
Today I’m struck with how the “way leads onto way” and the intentions we have of revisiting things, those intentions that somehow fall on the wayside particularly in the area of friendship and other relationships. Whether you will take the time to really read that letter from a friend or skim it, whether you will respond to that email or forget to respond repeatedly until you feel like responding is silly, whether you will be there for that loved one as you’ve intended all along or will your words be left unspoken and your intended actions left undone.
It is easy to get caught up in your journey because life is busy and chaotic and things come up so that if we aren’t careful it becomes increasingly easy to brush off conversations, coffee, that promised lunch date, the phone call and tea, your response to a kind email, letter, or word, and writing thank you notes.
I would really encourage you to not get so caught up that you forget to follow through with your intentions for the people you value in your life.
Don’t miss out on the people you value now because you’re caught up in the sights and sounds around you because there may come a time where those people may get tired of waiting to be seen and to be valued by you to the degree that they choose to spend their time with those who will reach out with intentionality.
. . .
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.