By Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
The key word here is "two". Throughout our lives we constantly face decisions where we have two choices. Even when it seems there is only one choice, we can decide either to DO it, or NOT do it; so there are STILL two alternatives.
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
Then there are times we wish we could do BOTH; HAVE our cake and eat it too! We know we can't, so we must agonize over the choices; weigh the possibilities.
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, 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,
Decisions, decisions! So, what we do is come up with some justification for the choice we have made, even though we are already questioning our decision, even as we make it. When the choices are so close to being equal, does it really make any difference? Is the fact that fewer people have done it THIS way going to give us any "edge" over the competition? Or have we just leveled the playing field?
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Is it frightening to us that few people have taken EITHER path? What unknowns lurk beyond the next bend?
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
Well, if this one doesn't work out, I'll try the other one; or maybe I'll try it one day anyway, just to see if it is better. Or maybe not. Have you ever heard of a "round tuit"? "I'll do it when I get around to it." Sometimes you KNOW, you just KNOW that you never will! Round tuits come in a roll, like a loaf of bread. You slice them off as you go, and eventually you come to the "heel" of the loaf. Yes, there is an "end tuit"! We DO run out of time.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood and I --
Sometime down the line we may look back and reflect upon this. We may never know if the other choice would have been better, or if it would even have been any different at all. Chances are, we'll discover that it really hasn't been so bad after all. (This is where I would sigh.). I'd wonder, if I had it all to do over again, wouldn't I do it exactly the same way. Or if I had gone the other way, wouldn't I be sitting here asking myself how THIS path would have turned out, had I gone THIS way? Whatever the result, it was that little whim, that little difference in detail, that sudden intuition that convinced us to choose the path that we did. We KNOW it made a difference, but in this case our 20/20 hindsight doesn't look around corners, so we will never know what that difference was!
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Perhaps the difference is in our own minds, our own talents, our own abilities. Perhaps these things would blossom and grow no matter WHAT we chose to do. Perhaps we missed a golden opportunity at some point because of something we DIDN'T do. Or maybe, just maybe, things turned out as well as they did BECAUSE of that decision we made, not in spite of it!
Maybe we "did good"! (another sigh)