Picture Story: The Road Not Taken

by Sara on September 7, 2009

road-not-takenWalking in the woods

This is a picture of path I found while walking in the woods. That day, I didn’t get a chance to go down this path and see where it went, but I snapped a quick picture of it.

When I’m looking through my pictures for something or another, this picture always jumps out at me. It makes me think of one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken.

The Road Not Taken ~ 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.

Poems of Robert Frost

One of the things I enjoy about the poems of Robert Frost is that he leaves his readers with something to think about. In the rhyme and rhythm of his words, there are stories and sometimes unanswered questions. While I love the simplicity and beauty of his poetry, I also like the mystery of it.

Therefore, when I look at this picture and read the poem above, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I had chosen this path and not the one I took on that day?

Picture Story Challenge

For your picture story challenge, I’m going to give you two choices. You can answer one of the questions or both. It’s up to you:~)

1) Would you have taken this path and if so, why?

2) Where do you think this path leads and what’s at the end of it?

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol September 7, 2009 at 8:52 am

Hmmm . . . now that you ask, I probably would NOT have taken that path. Why? There’s comfort in going the same familiar path. But maybe comfort isn’t always the best choice (although it is the easiest!) And maybe it’s not the worst choice either!
.-= Carol´s last blog ..Stress Eating Warning! =-.

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Sara September 8, 2009 at 12:01 pm

@ Carol — Well, I didn’t take it either and the path I took was obviously used more often:~) I think there are times and places in our lives when we choose comfort over being more daring and vice-versa. To me, it’s whether or not you regret the choice:~)

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Tony Single September 7, 2009 at 8:54 am

I totally would take this path. I would want to see where it goes, and I’d have high hopes that it would be somewhere private, magical, and majestic in all its earthiness.

Maybe there would be a stone in a forest clearing… still, ancient, a black presence adorned with moss and indecipherable markings. I don’t need to know what those markings indicate; I’d sooner imagine their meaning. I would lean back against the rock and close my eyes, waiting for dreams to come…

At which point, the forest ants would get into my pants, biting and itching until I reluctantly get up and move on with my life. Stupid ants. :P

Hey, by the way, I just wanted to commend you on your post regarding target audiences for blogging. I left a comment there too. I’m so happy to be back. :)
.-= Tony Single´s last blog ..Move On How =-.

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Sara September 8, 2009 at 12:06 pm

@ Tony — I am so pleased to see your familiar face:~) It doesn’t surprise me that you would take this path. Even if it didn’t take you someplace magical, with your creativity….you would see and feelmagic…as well as a few ants!

By the way, I’ve tried to leave comments on your site and I can’t get past the confirmation code for some reason. I’m telling you here because I can’t figure out how to contact you to let you know:~) I will visit and try again because I ALWAYS enjoy your posts:~)

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Positively Present September 7, 2009 at 10:26 am

I love Frost… Great post!
.-= Positively Present´s last blog ..the difference between happy and not unhappy =-.

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Sara September 8, 2009 at 12:07 pm

@ Dani — Thanks about the post. I totally agree about Robert Frost:~)

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Talon September 7, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Some of my best adventures have been taking the unknown path and seeing what lies around the bend.

Robert Frost’s poetry resonates.
.-= Talon´s last blog ..How to spend Labour Day… =-.

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Sara September 8, 2009 at 12:08 pm

@ Talon — It’s good that you explore the unknown paths and you are so right that sometimes the best are found when we have to take a chance:~)

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JC September 8, 2009 at 8:50 am

Unfortunately, that’s probably where my golf ball went!

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Sara September 8, 2009 at 12:11 pm

@ JC — That’s one nice thing about golfing…you get to explore so many different places. Just don’t ever let me find out that you ventured into the lake with the alligator to search for those new golf balls you bought. I’d much have you lose a few golf balls than something else more important:~)

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Lori September 8, 2009 at 6:23 pm

I love this poem. I usually show my students The Dead Poet’s Society during the year and then follow it up with a study of this poem. It’s one of my favorites.

When I see this photo, I just want to romp through the needles and see where it goes. But I usually don’t veer too far off of beaten paths. I’m scared I won’t find my way back. Hmmm…interesting metaphor to explore in regards to my life.
.-= Lori´s last blog ..Do The Thing Anyway =-.

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Sara September 9, 2009 at 4:01 pm

@ Lori — It is a great poem, isn’t it? I understand the feeling about not finding your way back. Literally, I seem have no sense of direction. I’ve been known to get lost in hotels…and they were BIG hotels, as well as numerous places:~) I tend to either mark my path (ribbons, broken branches, etc.) so I know how to get back or tI aken the more familiar path!

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Jannie Funster September 9, 2009 at 10:39 am

I don’t mean to be a downer but I am afraid of literal new paths in woods, for personal safety sake.

Figuratively, and expanding my comfort zone, I will go where this Jannie has not gone before, yes. I will take the path where I may meet some resistance, but most of it self-induced, so I just have to “get over myself” to succeed. :)
.-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..What To Do When The Power Goes Out =-.

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Sara September 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm

@ Jannie — You are never a downer! There’s a lot of value in being safe where you are walking in the real world. Regarding the comfort zone issue, well…that’s a different path. I know there have been many times I’ve retreated when things looked a bit overgrown and threatening in my life. Yet, I believe that challenging our comfort zones is the only way for growth to occur. So, that means every once in awhile we just sometimes have to take out the weed whacker and push our way through. As always, I love the way you think!

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Evita September 9, 2009 at 11:20 am

Oooo I just love paths! Any paths, but especially forest, woody paths!

I love that poem by Frost as well!

So would have I taken the path? You bet! If for nothing else than the shear joy of discovering a new path, new territory – just simply love exploring life :)
.-= Evita´s last blog ..Look Again =-.

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Sara September 9, 2009 at 4:22 pm

@ Evita — I can see you going down this path with camera in hand, ready to capture whatever is waiting for you down the path:~)

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Keith September 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Hi Sara!

Very nice picture! I would have taken it more than likely. I am notorious for things like that. If I go on a cave tour, I am always eyeballing the paths they’re not taking us on! LOL

I also love the allure of the unknown, the “wonder” factor, you know what I mean? :-)

Man, I love Robert Frost. Perhaps my favorite poet, I have a collection of his poems. So many great poems…
.-= Keith´s last blog ..Your Mind The Helm, Your Thoughts The Rudder =-.

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Tim Piazza September 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm

When I was a kid, I would explore any path to see where it went. Now, I am more concerned about not trespassing on the privacy of others, so I tend to explore paths only when it’s clearly okay to do so.

I used to live on Cape Ann, north of Boston, MA. Everyone lives around the perimeter of the cape, and nobody lives in the center, which is a public space known as “Dogtown Common”. Dogtown is riddled with water-filled granite quarries interconnected by paths through woods and wild berry fields. It’s a wonderful place to explore nature, though you might stumble upon the occasional naturalist enjoying a refreshing swim.
.-= Tim Piazza´s last blog ..An Incredible Story of Food and Need =-.

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Sara September 9, 2009 at 4:55 pm

@ Tim — That’s an interesting name, “Dogtown Common.” From what you describe, it sounds like a pretty place. Could you pick the berries? I remember visiting a relative and picking fresh strawberries that tasted absolutely wonderful. Regarding the naturalists: I grew up on a lake and my brother, sister and I often swam as naturalists when we were kids. The only difference might have been that our lake wasn’t crystal clear, which I believe is the case in many granite quarries. Thanks for sharing, Tim:~)

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Barbara Swafford September 11, 2009 at 2:13 am

Hi Sara,

I would take the path. You see, if you follow it just a little further, you’ll find a ravine. And not too much further, there’s a huge waterfall. Be sure you take your camera. The view is awesome. :)
.-= Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..Recipe For Blog Success =-.

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Sara September 11, 2009 at 12:11 pm

@ Barbara — Wow…I like your description of the path. It makes me wish I had walked it. It is true that we find the most amazing things when we take a risk and go someplace we haven’t been before:~)

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