The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost
I guess I’ve cited this so many times recently that I have to copy it into these pages. There have been so many chance taking of directions over the years and the realisation that where I am with the family and friends I have is down to taking one route then another route from this then another ad infinitum. I can’t look back and say that I should have done this or that because I can’t reinvent the past and I’m not a Hinu or evn a Buddhist believing in a cycle of rebirth. I am what I am, so as with Frost, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
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 have a great deal of sympathy with this poem as charting personal history in my head, I sometimes get wistful and replace some of the tiles which make up my personal jigsaw.
What if ………………………………..
I’d stayed the course at seminary?
Not met Gordon Head and been persuaded that I’d be better off with a higher qualification and career than insurance?
I’d stayed in Yorkshire after TASC and settle to a career as an Art or English teacher, Delma, Diana or whoever?
I’d missed out on Norway, Dalston, Slough, Heythrop, STM etc?
I’d not met Mary & had kids?
I’d not ended up in Brent Knoll?
The progressions are infinite and the honest answer is that time is fixed but events flow. You can’t step into the same river twice.