Monday, 14 July 2014

Something Useful for 2014 - Exercise No. 6

I've just got in from the morning school run. To keep my children on time, I keep to a reasonably strict routine first thing (well, as strict as it can be with two children whose imaginations and mouths are on overdrive). Part of this is our route to school, usually on foot but occasionally in the car and, of course, the route home. I can busy my mind with other things (breakfast, chores to do, arrangements to make) because I know where I'm going.

Life is like that for most of us, most of the time. We know where we're going on the way to work, school or a night out. We automatically take those turns, manoeuvring ourselves through the world in probably quite a blinkered way. There's nothing wrong with knowing where we're going but what if, on occasion, we took a diversion?

On whatever journey you take today or this week, take a moment to think of what might happen if you took the other route. Instead of  turning left to the shops, you turn right. Rather than take one train route, you choose another. What would happen? What could happen? Who might you meet? What would you see?

This month, I won't use my own writing as an example but a poem by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken.

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 kept 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.


  1. I love this poem. I used to teach it, too. :)

  2. I remember how regimented my schedule was as a working Mom with kids in school and sports, but now that my youngest has graduated high school my schedule has loosened up a bit. I have certainly taken the unexpected road by accident often enough but it would be a fun exercise to imagine doing so deliberately! Good suggestion.


Your comment will appear once it has been approved. Thank you for your interest.