Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Lane in the Woods

I've decided to post one of my all time favorite poems today. I may have already done so, but it seems particularly appropriate at this time in my life because I rarely look back and think, "Oh, I should have done that instead." I pretty much choose my path and just go forward. I am the product of the choices that I've made, and it's hard to regret any of those choices when they've brought me my wonderful children and a chance to live my dream of writing novels.

But in July I began suffering from depression. There were a multitude of reasons: my second book wasn't going as well as planned; I was shuffling my kids around the country to visit relatives which was exhausting; and my constant companion of 17 years was gone. Now I've always been the kind of person to shrug off being depressed, believing that a positive outlook leads to positive feelings. And up to that point, my philosophy had always worked for me since I'm a pretty mellow person. This time it was hard to shake. I began to think that I might actually need medication.

Then last week I stood on a grassy lane surrounded by trees with the insects buzzing and the birds chirping while a fawn slowly crossed the path a mere ten feet ahead of me. Robert Frost came to mind along with my favorite poem that epitomizes my philosophy on life. I felt renewed, energized and realized I had to decide if I was going to succumb to depression or rise above it. I'm happy to say that I've regained my equilibrium. But I feel for those who continue to suffer from depression and I encourage you to find your equilibrium any way that you can. Find someone to talk to, take medication, or find a lane in the woods and let nature bring you back to yourself.

Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.
1. 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; 5

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, 10

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. 15

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. 20

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