Saturday, February 8, 2014

Woods are lovely

the woods are lovely, dark, and deep

A walk in the woods on a snowy day always brings to mind Robert Frost's poem, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.

The first stanza:
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
Robert Frost as the woodland traveler subtly questions the idea of owning the woodlands. Something this beautiful and serene should be enjoyed by all.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The sensible little horse, Frost's fellow traveler, gives his harness bells a shake. This shakes Frost from his queer notions. There is beauty in the wilderness, but the horse knows that it is the warmth of the stable and the food in the manger that sustains him. Civilization is the harness that keeps man safe.

And the poem ends with the thought:
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Sammy and Tobie
Isn't life all about what happens in the middle.

Unlike the traveler in Robert Frost's poem, I am joined, not by a little horse, but by the dogs Sammy and Tobie. They find it not strange (queer) to be out in the bitter cold. They run, they play, they smell the rabbits in the snow, and, if they are lucky, chase a deer or two for a few hundred feet before coming back to me.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, and I kept my promise to the dogs.

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