By Bob Houghtaling
Last week I offered the poem Trees, by Joyce Kilmer, extolling nature’s beauty. As we continue to confront the many challenges brought about by the Coronavirus many of us are doing some deep soul searching. With this stated, perhaps another poem is in order.
While I am certain that we will get through this crisis significant sacrifices will be made along the way. America is great because we have met these challenges many times. An existential moment can provide a chance for us to reflect, come together, and grow. Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Not Taken’ asks us to think about risking change. It has always been a favorite of mine.
The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost
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.
We are all alone together during these trying times. Leadership is a personal commitment to better yourself and others. As I stated last week we are now being asked to serve our country. A little personal growth could prove a powerful elixir for our future travels. I am wishing you all well. Thank for your friendship over the years. See you soon.
Bob Houghtaling is the director of the East Greenwich Drug Program, a mental health counselor, and a poetry lover.