The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
I have loved Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” since I was young. Then, I was grabbed with the narrator’s sense of service and duty. Lately, the poem has struck me differently. I am taken by his attraction to the lovely, dark and deep woods. I can imagine him longing to go into them to see what’s there, to feel the magic and reverence that woods can inspire.
While thinking about this at some point I realized that I felt the same attraction and that, wonder of wonders, Bill and I have no more promises to keep. We’ve raised our children. Our fathers died somewhat young and we cared for our mothers in our home for the last little bits of each of their lives. We had various returning nesters that we sheltered. But now they are independent. We have left our salaried jobs and work for ourselves. The only promises left to keep are to each other and to God. We can hold hands and walk into the woods. Who knows what we’ll find there? Hopefully we’ll discover new opportunities for service, expansive ideas, gratefulness for the journey and joy in the small, precious things of life.
What attracts you and what do you hope to find?