As I sit at my kitchen table this Saturday morning, enjoying a couple of moments of solitude, some hot tea and toast, before going to teach a yoga class, the falling snow reminds me of my favorite poem by Robert Frost, “The Road Less Travelled.”
Many years ago, my mother, sister and I would go hiking every Sunday at a local park in Mountain Lakes, NJ. We would only hike during the winter, in the bitter cold and in the snow. The hikes felt long. Maneuvering over ice, snow, and crunchy frosty earth, was challenging but fun. It was a wonderful bonding time. After our hikes we would return to my house for a platter of cheese and crackers, wine and mimosas. It became a tradition.
I named our little hiking club, “Frosties” Not because we literally were frosty ( because we were) but after Robert Frosts poem. I felt free when I was out in the woods, I felt alive and I felt that maybe it’s okay to take risks in life, do different things, travel to different places, have different hobbies than my friends. I have always been independent, and being out in the elements enjoying mother nature, I felt as though I was one step closer to taking a road less travelled, whatever that road was going to be.
Our winter hikes in the woods led to casual winter runs in these woods. These casual winter runs turned into half marathon winter trail races in county parks throughout Northern NJ through the NJ Trail Run Association. I couldn’t get enough. The longer I could be outside in the woods the better.
What was it about winter that me feel it was okay to do the less obvious? Is there a season that makes you feel that way? Since we are in winter what is it that you fall in love with?
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.