I love reading poems. Most of them don’t make sense to me immediately, they are rather challenging since they give me the room to interpret them differently than how someone else might perceive it. Every time I read “The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost” I get a different image of how a person enters the woods and makes his choice of road to be traveled on. But if you consider the woods to be life and let’s be honest, woods are life, then this is just one of the many forks in his way.
you have read this poem a thousand times and for those who have not, the poem goes something like this;
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.
So the traveler looked up into the woods and saw two roads, he stopped and thought about which one be best suited for himself? He saw that there are two paths, one has been trodden many times before – a promise comes with it that people before him trusted this path and the other is faint – it doesn’t seem safe. After a lot of thinking he makes his choice – he chose the path less traveled and rod on to find what lies ahead. And he says, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.“
So, what happens to the road not taken? What happens to the traveler further down the road of his/her choice? Does he get another set of choices?
In our lives we come across many such junctions/forks/turns/twists, call them what you wish, but it’s a fact that you have got the choice. You can make a choice and go on, further down the road you might not like what you chose or you maybe loving it and that’s where you find yet another fork and you have to choose again. Most of the time we find ourselves looking back and thinking what may have been if we had taken the other path. A lot of our life time is wasted in thinking about what might have been and what might be.
Maybe the path that was chosen by the traveler was just a common road and the other one was used by mystical beings that ate humans alive! Who knows? Maybe the path not chosen would have been as great as the one he chose to travel on or even better. The thing is we spend so much of our lives looking at the choices we made or are making and comparing it with others (others who are doing better than us or seem to be). Think about all the chances you had and the choices you made, it has made you into who you are today, is it that bad to keep wishing for a chance to re-live it again so you can travel a different path and know for yourself? or is it good enough to go ahead and make new choices and add up into the human being you already are? It is so difficult to know for sure, right?
Think of a mistake or a bad decision you made and what you learnt from it. Sometimes difficulties and bad choices teach us the lessons that can make us stronger and braver if we allow those chances to ourselves instead of bashing ourselves with the things we did not do, the choices that went wrong etc. If the world did not come to an end by your bad choices and is allowing you another chance, then take the chance for God’s sake and make a most of the new opportunity, maybe you can just stumble upon the path of your liking sooner or later.
The thing is my friend don’t keep dwelling on all the paths and don’t succeed in any, life is a jumbled junction of paths and there are many opportunities. If you don’t like the path you are on, you can always change the course of your path and steer yourself into a new direction.
To new directions and a life well lived. Wish you a very happy time ahead.