“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
― Robert Frost
The poem in which these words appear – “The Road not Taken” – was first published in 1916, ninety-six years ago, but they still feel relevant to me today. And not just for roads that lead through woods – highways that bisect plains – or suburban streets like the ones I walked, bicycled through and later drove on in the Pasadena of my youth.
I think they apply to many things. The choices writers make every day about their characters. The choices actors make when they are taking a role and finding ways to make it live. The choices you have to make when you are thinking of quitting a good job that pays a nice regular salary and trading it for uncertainty, nerves, and maybe the chance to finally try to do that thing you’ve been thinking about for years.
Or the choices I made last week walking down the main drag of Puerto Vallarta, along the zona hotelera or Hotel row, as I was nearing el Centro or downtown, a large boulevard with multiple lanes of traffic, signage, and buildings, many elegant, which all seemed designed to channel me in one direction. I almost didn’t see it. A tiny path which led off to the right as the road went over a small bridge that seemed to span nothing but overgrown watery reeds….
This is what I saw.
The one less traveled by.
In Los Angeles.
In Mexico City.
It’s there. Waiting for you.
At least, I think it is.
But sometimes so hard to see. So easy to just walk right on by…
I think I need to clean my glasses. Excuse me…..
Now I can see, now I can—– Hey! What are you doing there? This is my road! Who invited you? Oh…..I did? Well, I guess maybe there’s room for two. What do you think is at the end down there, behind those bushes?
Shall we find out?