Yes or No

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

Robert Frost

Robert knew he had to make a choice.  The uncommon path lured him.  He followed.  And there’d be no going back.

Five years ago I was on a hiking trail near the Canadian Rockies.  That day two human beings came to a fork in the road.  They also made a choice, unusual in modern times.  “And that has made all the difference.”

Lydia was one of those people.  She lives near Ronse, Belgium and was on vacation with her family.  Bruce was the other.  He was visiting his wife Jody’s brother and his family.

We met and said hi.  We stopped walking.  We started talking … and continued for an hour.  I learned that Lydia and her friends sponsor children in Senegal.  She showed me photos of the kids and a very cool video. 

Lydia mentioned that at Christmas many of the sponsoring folks were going to Toubacouta to spend time with the young ones.

And then she stared at me for a very long time.

Ahh … the moment of yes or the moment of no.  And what will become of us if we say yes?


Lydia’s yes: “Would you like to come with us?”

Bruce’s yes: “Yes I would.”

We could ask what it was about Lydia’s life experience that caused her to invite a stranger to accompany her halfway across the world.  The same about Bruce, whose bubbling up “Yes” came from somewhere beyond the mind.

But let’s not.

I’ve been to Senegal three times with Lydia and her family and friends.  We return in July.  I’ve visited Belgium probably six times … and now I live here.

Who would have thought a dirt path could lead to such miracles?

I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence