How I wish our past self had memorized this poem…but how thankful I am that we knew enough to make choices based on our intution…because this? This is how our life has shaken out…
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.
The road less traveled by is usually the one that is more circuitous, less obvious and often fraught with life’s unpleasantnesses…but it is also the more interesting and colorful. I wouldn’t change much, even if I could…because the past is past and serves to me as a reminder now.
As to the present, self? Well…after many years of self-imposed angst and self-blame, I have come to appreciate the past through which I struggled, because it serves to instruct me now. Let’s face it: despite regrets, despite mistakes, despite everything – we can’t go back and erase anything, because then who would we be now? Nothing and nobody. Like it or not, the past is what shapes us into who we are today.
Finally, self dear, the future. Shakespeare calls it the undiscovered country…I like that idea. Who’s to say what lies ahead? And for that, who’d want to say? Let others discover for themselves. Me? I aim to do my best to be a force for good, and to teach those who might be willing to listen…and to have the sense to know the difference between the teachable and the unteachable. Onward! Excelsior!