Many in the Academy have spoken poorly and disdainfully of Robert Frost. Admittedly, the notion that that he is the poet of the common man carries weight. Most of his writings are much easier to understand on the surface than Shakespearean sonnets or the poetry of Keats (though by no means should that be a hindrance to study their works.)
But there is a profound thought in one of Frost's more popular poems, The Road Not Taken.
I'm not talking about those famous last lines:
I shall be telling this with a sigh,
Somewhere ages and ages hence.
Two roads divered in a yellow wood, and
I, I took the road less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference.
Those lines are nice (though widely misinterpreted as an attempt to inspire people to be leaders and not followers-note that lines 2 and 5 which match in the rhyme scheme do not have the same number of syllables creating a slight discord on the last line...indicating that perhaps the road more travelled would have been wiser....but I digress.)
But the lines immediately preceeding these are what I have been contemplating recently.
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
When my grandmother died in October I was thinking of these lines as my family left her house in Jacksonville. I have so many memories of that house and my deceased grandparents. But as we drove away, I felt like a piece of my life slipped forever into my past.
I felt that way after finishing playing for Les Mis. I put countless hours of practice into it. I went to 10 rehearsals, including three four hour marathons the week of the shows, followed by the three perfomances. By the time the show ended on Saturday I was exhausted. But I could not help but think of the fact that this work into which I had put so much effort was being ripped away and becoming a permanent part of the past. At the very least, I would never have the experience of doing this show with the same wonderful people.
So enjoy the times that God gives you. Be careful not to live for those times...live for eternity...but don't waste the moments, experiences, and relationships that come your way. It is better, although bittersweet, for them to be a part of your past than for them to be non-existent.