Wednesday, April 23, 2008

the road less travelled

Travellers at a Crossroads in a Wooded Landscape by Charles Towne
Travellers at a Crossroads in a Wooded Landscape

Today is a new day with no mistakes in it

Anne of Greengables

Dear reader,

Yesterday's post had an impact not least on our family. Having written down my thoughts and feelings about the reality as I perceive it, today is a new fresh day which enables us either to engage with the process of change or to switch off from it entirely.

The first step is to acknowledge that in this moment in time, this very moment, we are OK, we have all we need and want to a certain extent. That is unlikely to drastically change in the UK overnight. I believe that the UK is well placed as a green and pleasant land, to weather an increase in temperature by 2 degrees and at the same time, I realise that places on the globe that are already hot will find an increase in temperature challenging.

In the face of fear of the unknown, we can pack a small backpack which contains knowledge, skills and presence of mind to deal with whatever happens to come our way. It would be easy to get depressed about the whole situation or to simply ask yourself why you should bother if your alter ego at the other end of the globe cannot wait to buy the first car, travel the world and enjoy everything just as we have done. We all have choices and I guess what I am doing is making a voluntary choice here to simplify my needs and wants to what is an acceptable level. What is acceptable is also personal but to me it means living locally, shopping locally, creating a handmade life, more in tune with the natural rhytm of life.

Do I know a lot about it? No, its a journey of discovery but I know that many of the skills necessary to live such a life have been eroded from our generation. With it the joy of living has also disappeared to a certain extent and I am travelling on a parallel road.

I think the poem by Robert Frost (1874–1963) gives a good indication of the way I am heading.

Mountain Interval. 1920.

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.

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