Friday, January 18, 2008

The Woods Are Lovely Dark and Deep

Yesterday on the way home from the “Just For Kids” after school program (which I try and direct) it was snowing. I came my usual “back road” which was backed up and I sat on Susquehanna Street looking up into the deep woods which line one side of that road. It was breath taking in the filigree of snow which clung to the tree branches as far as the eye could see. I rolled down the window, felt the snow flakes hit my face and melt, the cool wind putting my skin on edge.

Normally I am impatient in traffic back-ups, but I was struck by the gift that was being given to me at this dusk time to appreciate the woods—the trees, the silent snow drifting down.

In school in India we had to memorize poems and I recall having Robert Frost’s “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” as a memory poem I had to stand and recite. It comes back to me on occasion and it did this evening. The "darkest evening of the year" is the 21st of December (the Winter Solstice) and the next day is my birthday---which I have always relished as the day the sun starts to return! Here it is for your joy in the midst of snowy weather which at face value looks like an inconvenience, but in reality may be a gift if you are able to receive it…

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
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 thought about my life so far, and anticipated (with some joy, I might add) the miles ahead of me. May you be blessed with some snowy woods if you are so graced.


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