Monday, November 12, 2012

The Road Not Taken

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....
                        (-excerpt by Robert Frost)
This is where I am.
Standing, peering, pondering that forest.
I have these little, teeny feet following me.

And, truth be told...
I would probably stand at that diverged road forever.
If it weren't for time speeding forth,
beckoning me make my way, or it be made for me.
I am thinking...Christmas this year?
Will be the start of a new trail.  A little unconventional.
A bare-naked Christmas.
And I'm not talking exposed skin and blushing.
Just a stripping of all the distractions.
Honestly, if I were to bare my heart ~
facing forth a trail less-trodden is a bit SCARY.
And is going to take some real courage from this momma's heart.

Every year, as Thanksgiving heralds its approach,
I have the children dig deep and offer-up tales of what they are thankful for.
There is pure joy in the act of giving thanks,
breathing life and fanning the sometimes graying ashes of contentment.
Such peace.

Feel it?
Feel that peace and contentment just vaporize...
As the rush toward -stuff- begins?
We were all just THERE:  basking and washing ourselves in joy.
It is the greatest mass-hysteria-soul-amnesia-pandemic.
Within one week, I go from teaching-the-counting-of-blessings,
to teaching-the-counting-of-wanting-more-always-more.
I go from having my little ones write lists of thanks,
to handing them paper and inspiring them to write a list of all their lack.
And the focus shifts.
Innocently enough,
But shift -- it does.

And like tectonic-shifting changes the very placement-of-continents,
The shift of heart-plates, away from gratitude, forever changes the soul.

I am finally understanding what the retail world has known all along.
There is no real profit to be made at Thanksgiving.
Because when people are giving thanks,
They are not out looking to buy joy.
They already have it.

I could probably write a ten page, okay twenty...
journey of my muddled ponderings, staring down this fork in the road.
Hearing those little feet, eyes just watching what way we'll take.
I love that these little ones are safe with me!
And at the same time --whoa, the responsiblity--
Inviting you to watch this journey unfold?
Starting here..
at the decision place.  Long.
Where I am still a bit muddled and uncertain and
building, building --always building, courage.

As this momma is standing there,
Ready to forge ahead into a new path toward
heralding in the birth of sweet Jesus ~
our home is full of the buzz of gratitude.

And it is well within my soul.

May I be the flawed vessel, infused with glue-of-supernatural strength,
that holds those heart-plates in place?
Holds them in place,
On where real joy is found.


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 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 Not Taken, by Robert Frost.


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