Misnaged in the Woods

Here I sit in my tent, after a sufficiently long day of packing, driving, meeting new people, singing, communing with nature, farming…

What Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” does not tell us is how the narrator felt five steps into his journey on the lesser-traveled fork. He tells us that his choice had ultimately “made all the difference,” sure — but what about the immediate feelings? Was he immediately sure? Had he chosen with conviction? Five steps into the journey, did he stop in his tracks and ponder retreat to the more-common road?

Rarely have I stood five steps into what promises to be a relatively long road and known with conviction that it would make all the difference. And here I am, knowing, somehow, that my life will be changed by the experience I have ahead of me. Knowing, somehow that the change has already begun.

Today, I weeded in the farm’s edible plant forest. I watched later as seventy people sat silently, each alone but in community, in that farm. I was privy to meaningful sharing in which no one made a single sarcastic remark, no one rolled their eyes, no one was disparaging. I watched as flame emerged from only wood and friction. I taught today; but more than that, I learned.

As I sit in my tent in these dark woods, I can hear the lake rushing out to my left. I can hear the occasional animal creeping by. I am taken by the sound of small branches falling periodically on my roof.

I am surprised by how comfortable I feel to be here. I am pleasantly surprised by how calm I am. And yet, excited. More to come.

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