The Road Not Taken
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a mellow wood.
Rugged paths and uphill roads further ahead.
Dimly or half-hidden, like the wood itself.
Try to glimpse ahead.
But it is beyond disappearing eyes.
Part of my earthly tests.
Part of the riddle:
'Wherever I go, there I am.'
When young, no matter which road I took,
seeking prizes or meeting setbacks,
reversed, chose another road, repeated the cycle,
half-consciously, I carried that heavy Log
of desires, prides, fears, jealousies.
I realized, my feet didn't get to choose.
Rather, that Log came alive,
feeding on my prides and anxieties,
growing into a huge, shadowy Creature.
Soon it pulled me to walk that kind of road
in a secular way in a secular world.
I saw many choosing highways to the cities,
looking for branded cars, gold watches, silvery mansions.
Some became frustrated when dreams proved elusive.
Some took big risks in speculations -
stocks, derivatives, currencies.
Their volatile prices burdened some with debts.
Even forcing some to take a sad fall
from the silvery windows of high-rise buildings
onto shattered pieces of glass.
The illusions cracked.
When pulled along by the shadowy Creature,
the mindset I wore or hid within,
the roads I trod in the world of red dust,
bent towards the wrong direction.
Regrets sooner or later found me.
May I return to the poets of the past.
The blue sky and green hills are saying:
"That Creature survives on self-focused desires,
porous, transparent, short-lived.'
If I quietly watch the inner circus,
they undress as flashes of mental energy.
Each flash spurts around for a few seconds
Each flash is like a squirrel
darting towards a hazel nut, grabbing or missing it,
quickly disappearing into thick branches.
Or a hyperactive puppy chasing a bone of desire,
biting it, running away to hide,
waiting for the next bone to appear.
Glimpsing their true nature,
I stand a better chance
to withstand being pulled along.
Slowly, I realize how I mistook
that shadowy Creature to be solid,
how it came from my yearning for acceptance.
In understanding it,
the untamed grove within has a change of season.
Perhaps in this way contentment comes …
Watching a sunrise, listening to a stream,
placing a robin back to its nest,
extending a helping hand to the needy,
praying during a sunset,
seeing the gifts of a night sky.
Someday we affirm the insights of Frederick Robertson
and Saint Paul: 'On earth we have nothing to do with success
or results, only being true to God. Defeated when doing right,
beaten when doing good, are victories in His eyes.
For neither heights nor depths nor anything else
in all creation can separate us from His love.'
Someday when we glimpse these miracles,
we begin to see which earthly road
is more harmonious with the Spirit.
Especially during our last day on earth
when we close our eyes, breathe our last
and take the one road to the Timeless.