Posts Tagged ‘take the dog for a walk’

The Woods

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“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and sorry I  could not travel both.” Michael J. Fox celebrates many years married to the same woman.  Robin Williams commits suicide. “And be one traveler, long I stood. And looked down one as far as I could. To where it bent in the undergrowth.”  One disease. Two choices.

 

Testaments of time tall and imposing reach far overhead, unwitting of the life on the ground.  Straight up without bending, against a foreboding and darkened sky, they split the horizon.  Other trees reach beyond their roots and like the peacock, spread their array in colors of dead and dying leaves. Something in me resonates with something in them.  One walk midst their kin and that something in me responds.

 

“Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear” The duotone honk of the geese signal their watery launch as if by some schedule their leaving was arranged.  Soft full underbellies hang in the air neath a gaggle of wings flapping up to speed.

 

I stop with leash extended while the dog roots out another foreign scent.  Look up, look way up. Just overhead, so close the whisper of synchronized flight. I could almost touch them. Standing still I watch the one lone procrastinator honk from far behind; “Wait for me!”  Two others break formation, circle back and gather the straggler ahead of them.  A lesson in teamwork. “Though as for that the passing  there, Had worn them really about the same” Contrast the geese a moment later, the protracted landing of the graceful Heron as it glides to rest on the bank of the creek.  The long and elbowed neck drawn back betrays its’ dinosaur DNA. The dog, impatient pulls the leash to urge me on and the dirt almost mud, squishes beneath my sneakers. “And both that morning equally lay. In leaves no step had trodden black.”

 

Far and away I thought the leaving to be a beginning, the chance to answer questions or ask the questions that would bring meaning. “Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.” Serendipitous the chance to discover these woods, the one the dog now knows.  She turns to take the path before I discover its’ opening, so secret and covered with growth the way goes down and turns toward the creek bed and the wooden bridge.  It’s protected.  A place where the wild salmon run.  Not the bison – different way to run. But run, nonetheless. In hurried panic I search to find a stick, a poker, with which to introduce myself to the long and twisty thing, on the ground, in the reeds, by the beach.  It’s coiled and quiet, just waiting there shiny black and yellow.  “Hello, who are you?”  Before the hello, it is gone.  The stick made redundant. No need then to say hello with a stick. “I shall be telling this with a sigh. Somewhere ages and ages hence:”

 

I search the shore to try the thing ancestry has tried for ions before me.  I seek the smooth and even surface of the rock that will skip to the horizon.  The small but mighty statement I can take in my hand. I balance the leash in the one hand and comb the contents of the shore with the other.  I am beach combing. I have not done this with diligence since the discovery of the dead porpoise, the washed up and thick carcass that was poked with a stick as a child.  What is this poking with a stick thing? I gather my technique and with all my talent, hurl the rock with great force across the glass like surface of the water. “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
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.

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