Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Long Road

I think often of Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken. (Go here to read it because it would be wrong of me to post it here methinks... I'm all about the rules!)

I am a life traveller, as we all are, but I'm a frustrated one. Because I have always wanted to take ALL THE ROADS. I want to double back and take shortcuts and longcuts and reach dead ends and go back again.

(In fact, I remember being in elementary school and thinking about college degrees. I thought: I think I'll just go to school and get ALL the degrees, wouldn't that be good?)

But Frost is smart. He knows he has to choose a road and commit to a journey. "And be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could". He seems to be saying "I'm only one guy, with one life to live... I'd better consider my choices and make smart ones."

And then. Then! A man after my own heart he goes and takes the one that it looks like no one has taken recently. He thinks about both paths though, and he knows that he'll be on one and may want to go on the other half way through.

He looks back at the end and knows that the journey has made the difference. The walking through uncharted paths has made the trek his own.

I feel as though that's what my life is like these days. I'm walking on a path of my own choosing. Each morning, like this morning, I get up at 5:00 am and I try to be oh-so-quiet as I get ready for work. The kids are asleep, Major Man is asleep. It's just me and my cobwebs.

Truly it's the only truly alone time I've had in years I think. Other than naps maybe. I try to enjoy the process, putting on make up, doing my hair, choosing my outfit. And as I leave the house at 5:45 am and it's pitch black and I can still see the stars I feel good about myself and my path.

I can do this. I am doing this for my family. I get up at this horrible hour, go to work and put letters in their correct order and I'm helping my family. I may not be the full time writer I wanted to be at this stage, but this is only one path. This is just the part of the path with the weeds and the brambles where I need to move slowly and carefully, where I need to pause often to make sure I'm still on course and my family is still following me.

The road is long, it's winding and at times I wish for another. But if I stop and look around, even the weeds and brambles have some harsh beauty to them.


FA said...

You are absolutely right. Sometimes the road with weeds and brambles offer some hidden beauty.

When we do tasks because we have to, I see that as a detour. I may get off the road that I want, it is just temporary.

Carolyn Erickson said...

I've always admired those folks who have a career and life track and clear direction for getting there.

I'm with you, though. What might be down that road, just beyond the bend? What are the people like who live there? Is the grass really greener?

And then, what about that road where the grass is known to be brown? Wonder if I could interview some of those folks. Do they even have to buy lawnmowers?

:) That's why I like writing. I can either write nonfiction and talk to people about their stories, or I can write fiction and make up what I think it would be like.