Less than a week ago, we came to a road crossing. We could have continued down the Alaska Highway but chose to ride down the more scenic and remote Stewart-Cassiar Highway. Since that juncture, we have experienced both great difficulty and unsurpassed hospitality and generosity. These recent experiences brought Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken“, to mind.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
Heavy rain has brought forth some obstacles on the road ahead. Currently, the highway is closed to motor vehicles and crews are working to stabilize roads and bridges affected by mudslides. Uncertainty lies ahead, and that can be disconcerting. The interruption of our riding rhythm and daily work is stressful, yet another Robert Frost poem comes to mind:
When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.
“A Time to Talk” reminds us that the people and circumstances around us might distract from our work, but their “meaning walk” through our lives and their friendly visits are what make the road so rich for us. We are glad for the road we have taken, and we won’t let mudslides distract us from the magic around us.