Moving on

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I….I took the one less travelled by, and that made all the difference.’ (Robert Frost) 

Habits of Mind: Taking responsible risks 

In a week when we are celebrating the many superb poems entered for the Charlotte Kell school poetry competition, I was inspired to share a much-loved poem. 

‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost gives us all pause for thought about the choices we make in life. Our lives are made meaningful by the choices we make and of necessity it means letting go of other avenues. We may look back sometimes and think ‘what if?’ we had taken the other path, and while our lives may well have been different, we would have missed other things that we have experienced on the life chosen.

This idea of other lives we might have lived, is explored in an intriguing book called ‘The Midnight Library’ by Matthew Haigh, in which each book in the library tells the story of the unlived lives that would have followed from different choices made by the protagonists. Each life contains its gains and losses and while they may have been different, it is difficult to judge whether they would have been better.

At this time of year many of our students are thinking about moving on. It may simply be to the next year at Wychwood but some face making choices over particular course options or even moving on to university, work or a gap year. Every step along the way involves choosing, and those choices lead subsequently from ‘way onto way’, and so it might mean we do not come back to some things.

All the more reason to choose wisely and to sometimes consider the ‘road less travelled’, not the most obvious or usual path, because it could make all the difference. 



The Road Less Travelled. (Robert Frost)  

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, 

And sorry I could not travel both 

And be one traveller, 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 travelled by, 

And that has made all the difference. 


Christine Crossley