Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The One Less Traveled By

My sincere apologies that the next few pictures are so out of focus.  Sometimes even my super fabulous camera can't keep up with how fast kids move!
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 
-Robert Frost     
Today was an absolutely beautiful September day.  The kind of day that one needs to spend as much time outside basking in as humanly possible.  As soon as I woke up I knew that this was the kind of day that would be perfect for some apple picking, and so in chatting with my lovely friend Eileen that is exactly what we set out to do.  We arrived at the orchard with all intentions of doing just that until it was noticed that there was a hedge maze that needed to be explored.  We all agreed that we could surely pick apples another time but that we must absolutely go in the hedge maze this time.  Apples were purchased in the store (along with cider and donuts, too, of course) and then the animals and pumpkins were visited before we headed over to the maze. 
Once inside I realized how truly symbolic this is of the life we lead.  Everyone needs trusted companions on whatever journey they are on but this is especially true for those of us on the much less traveled path of unschooling.  As we wandered through the twists and turns of the maze, listening to the girls giggle and run and problem solve, and as we chatted about things important to mamas, it was then that I couldn't help but feel the symbolism of this maze deep within my soul.  You hit dead ends, turn around, and start again. You take a wrong turn and have to start over.  And then somewhere along the way you turn the correct way and end up back on course to reach your destination.  If you can laugh (as we did) through it all it makes the wrong turns and dead ends that much less frustrating.  If you can lean on each other, work together to solve a problem or figure the way out then it makes those time of uncertainty that much more easy to endure.  And, as we all learned today, you always, always always go back in for the one that has been left behind (or in the case of a certain sweet, blonde four and a half year old girl, the one who runs back in to do it all again when it's time to go).  Having friends, especially kindred spirits to lean on, to take this journey with, to encourage you and you them, to share wisdom with, to ask questions of, to get support from, to laugh with, to cry with, to cheer each other on, who just plain "get it" is truly essential. 
And on this day.  On this somber September 11th day, I couldn't help but reflect on how different my life is than it was eleven years ago.  Friends have come and gone, babies have been born, people have died, marriages have begun and some have ended, but the one thing I know for sure is that love and peace are essential. We will always be faced with problems, with dead ends and twists and turns that could not be foreseen.  We will always have times of happiness and sadness.  Times of certainty and uncertainty.  It's what we do with those times and who we surround ourselves with that truly matter. 
It's amazing what a little bit of time spent in a maze can do.


  1. I love the blurry picture. It captures her joy and her energy. The blur reminds us that we have to stop and enjoy the moment because it passes so quickly. Thank you for the reminder of what matters most.

  2. Thanks girls! It turned into a deeper post than I thought it would (and that I have done in awhile) and I had a feeling that you girls would appreciate it. Thanks for your sweet comments (as always)!