Sunday, September 9, 2012

Remembering the Road Taken

image from Wikimedia Commons

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;        5
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,        10
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.        15
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.        20

                                                                              ~The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

I have always been fascinated by the thought that there are moments in our lives when we face decisions, perhaps even simple and not particularly outstanding ones when viewed at the moment, that will change the course of the rest of our lives. They may pass unnoticed, only to be recalled many years hence. They may even be a series of decisions one hardly is aware of, a series that increases exponentially the changes that are hurtling toward one's unsuspecting self. 

For example: Perhaps you have decided to go to a party for the first time since becoming single again; and perhaps you go rather early, and are taken aback at the lack of other cars parked at the party house; and perhaps you return home, certain that the single life is not for you; and perhaps your babysitter, wise beyond his years, tells you that you look great and that you should go right back to that party and have a good time; and perhaps you do, and notice the one person you've never met there; and perhaps you decide (with the aid of a glass of wine) to go right up and introduce yourself; and perhaps you have a lovely time at the party you almost skipped; and perhaps, when asked that question, "When can I see you again?" you daringly say, "Now." 

And nothing is ever the same again. 

So, here is my question to you. Thinking back over your life, can you find a single moment when you took one fork of the road or the other, and found that it "made all the difference?" 

Please share with us in the comments. Thank you. 


Carisa said...

Following the same theme that you put in your post the thing I most remember is at college orientation I saw a boy reading the same book I was reading at the time. I mentioned it to my friend Jen who "forced" me to go up and talk to him (I tend to be shy and not outgoing in social situations.) By junior year, we were married and the rest is history :)

clairz said...

I love your story, Carisa. I married the party "boy" 31 years ago!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I'm glad I read the comments, because I wondered if that was autobiographical -- what a lovely story beautifully told! You chose the right road!

Joyful said...

That is my favourite poem. I think I have often taken a diverging road. The first most prominent one was moving far from my childhood home to start university. There were others before that but I like to think of this one as the beginning of a "new" and largely exciting life filled with interesting opportunities ;-)

Val said...

I love this poem and have giving it a lot of thought as I changed jobs this summer. A job change that made me healthier in many ways. The biggest decision I made in my life that made all the difference was deciding where to go to college. I met my best friend there, I met my husband there, I learned that I liked to learn, and since I was far away from home I got to learn who I was without my family.