The Road Less Traveled; again and again and again….

We are fortunate to live in New Hampshire, which is a filled with beautiful roadways to traverse and explore. It’s also the home of poet Robert Frost who penned the immortal poem:

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… “

We all know how it ends.Robert Frost took the road less traveled. This is a choice many of us have to take, should we take the road we haven’t taken before, or the one we’ve taken many times. I am one who believes that when traveling, often times, the trip is the destination. I enjoy just driving around in a car, or on our motorcycle, and viewing the different scenery. So as far as traveling is concerned, I can agree with the sentiment that the road less traveled usually appears to be a more interesting road to choose. We often want to go to some place new in our travels that we haven’t visited before, just to experience something new. The road less traveled can be filled with unique scenery all its own and something new to see. But a lot of times, we take the road less traveled too often. Sometimes we don’t take the road traveled most, because it’s a road we’ve already taken, and because we think we’ve seen everything it has to offer. Though, in my experience I’ve found this may not necessarily be the case.

I travel the same road every day to and from work on my bus, and I’ve been traveling the same road for over 10 years now. But I’m still amazed to see new things when I look out my window at different times, especially if I look out at different times of the year. Over a one year period, the same riverside view may take on different looks not only for every season, but as the river flow changes and with different times of day that changes the light and how it affects the colors around the river. The view could change its appearance several times a season and sometimes have several different looks in just one day.

So what at first you might take to be one scene can actually become 10, 20, 30, maybe even 100’s of different scenes over the course of a year. I’ve learned this because I’m also an avid photographer, and I’ve learned over time to look for subtle changes in light, and lines in scenes that changes in weather and seasons can provide. On my walks to the bus station, I would often times take a picture of the state capital here in Concord, NH every morning at exactly the same time as I passed. Why would I do this you may ask, well because I wanted to capture how high the sun changes as it transitions from its zenith in the northern sky during the spring and summer, to its low settings in the fall and winter months, and this makes for different lighting on the same scene.

Your own backyard

Another example of our choosing a road less traveled, instead of a road we travel a lot, is when we forget to look in our own back yards for places to visit. It’s the old story of someone in New York never visiting the Statue of Liberty, or my working in Boston for over 6 years before I went to see some of the historical sites when my brother came to visit.

Well, if you like to drive or ride a motorcycle on some back roads as I do, I highly recommend finding good roads in your own backyard. Why, because you can visit them anytime you want, and when you do, you will find the subtle changes of scenery those back roads can provide. All you need to do is to pay attention to the details. Don’t just ride them once or the same way every time, when you get to the end, turn around and ride the same road coming back in the opposite direction. You will be amazed at how much the scenery changes, when you turn around.

So the lesson here; read more Robert Frost poetry, and don’t be afraid to take the road less traveled as well as the road most traveled.

Boathouse in Durham England
I walked this path along the river in Durham England several days, before finding just the right conditions for this reflective image.