Two roads diverge in a mellow wood,
with rugged paths and uphill roads further ahead,
dimly or half-hidden, as the wood deepens.
Strain our bodies, necks and eyes,
trying to glimpse the kind of journey and surprises in store,
but such view is beyond mortal eyes,
part and parcel of our earthly tests.
Maybe the roads are part of the Big Riddle ...
"No matter where you go, there you are."
No matter which road we take, forge ahead,
or encounter setbacks, reverse our steps,
choose another road or repeat the cycle,
subconsciously or half-consciously
we carry along our daily baggage:
desires, prides, egos, fears, anxieties,
likes, dislikes, frustrations, hatreds, jealousies ...
Soon, roads lead on to roads,
wishes lead on to more wishes,
years vanish in pursuing them.
Perhaps slowly we realize,
our feet do not choose which road to take.
Instead, our baggage hauled us along,
pulling us to walk that kind of road
in a secular way in a secular world.
Many choose efficient highways to the cities,
hoping for branded cars, glittering mansions,
privileged social clubs and private yachts.
Some become frustrated when dreams prove elusive.
Some can take big risks in margin trading,
the ups and downs can cut short their roads,
forcing some to take a short-cut:
leaping from the silver-framed windows
of high-rise condos, falling onto shattered pieces
of glass that soon mix with pools of blood.
Perhaps then, the illusion cracks,
telling us: as long as those baggage
clings to us, the choices we make,
the roads we take in the world of red dust
tend to be wrong, bringing regrets ...
Perhaps it is in the way the freedom
and blueness of the sky speak to our heart ...
Perhaps it is in the way we realize
why the birds, lotus flowers and white clouds
are so at ease, with no wish to impress anyone …
Perhaps it is in the way we seek
to follow Dickinson in placing a robin back to her nest,
to follow Emerson in letting go inner baggage,
in sharing food with a squirrel or penning a poem,
to follow Mother Teresa’s example
in extending help to the needy …
perhaps then, we can better see
which earthly road is less wrong,
more harmonious with the songs of the Spirit,
worthy of our love and efforts to continue.
Perhaps this may bring that kind of wordless fulfilment
during our last day on earth
when we close our eyes, breathe our last
and take the one road to the Timeless.