The Road Not Taken

By Jonathan Timar
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This past Thursday I made a trip to Vancouver Island to assist my mom in moving some of my Grandpa’s furniture to her home here on the mainland.

My grandpa passed away nearly three years ago now, which is very hard to believe. My how time flies!

I uncovered a few treasures during this excursion, one in particular of which I plan to write all about very shortly, for right now I would simply like to share a poem with you. It’s the poem that was featured on the back of my the memorial card handed out at my grandpa’s celebration of life.

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 marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

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    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.

    Robert Frost (1874 –1963), from his 1916 collection, “Mountain Interval”.

    My cousin chose this poem, and I think it was a stroke of genius, and no words could sum up my grandpa better that these.

    But is there more to the poem than first appears? On its surface it seems a rather simple, inspirational poem about following your heart, but…

    …if you dig a little deeper you will see that there is a trace of irony, in that by not taking that other road, the other road became the one less traveled by. So then perhaps it is a gentle suggestion to embrace life, to be grateful for the experiences you do have, and not to waste time lamenting those that pass you by.

    I think so.