Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Sermon: Musings from Under the Steps. The Less Traveled Road.

"...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. The Road Not Taken

I remember a Chinese New Year Ceremony I attended with Jim and his parents on the Big Island of Hawaii. We were in for a visit and one evening we all went up to Waikoloa Village to watch the Lions dance in blessing of the local shops and businesses. It was a wonderful evening full of color, athletic show, breathing fire and the heart echoing beat of drums. I took pics of the ceremonies, ate my fill of traditional Chinese fare with the family and sat around and watched…

I watched. It’s something I am very good at. Writers are people watchers, voyeurs of the worlds around them and sometimes beyond. But being only a watcher can leave a person and a creative mind stagnant.

So against the better wishes of Jim and my in-laws, I disappeared into the crowd with my camera and followed the Lions out into the night…

I fed a Lion my prayer envelope a blank wish, one to be filled by myself someday. I mingled with excited children dancing around acrobats in large sparkling costume, waiting for candy to be tossed and lettuce offerings to be fed to the dancing Lions at shop doors (pictured right).

(and then the Lion enters the shop, below)

To me, these moments on my own in the crowd—participating, was better than any choreographed show I could have enjoyed. I felt the energy. I felt the crowd. I took the path less taken and it led me to a gift I at present have no name for.

This small vacation detour is so very small in comparison to the other stranger and longer paths less traveled in my life. Going to college in my family was one. Entering into the Mental Health field was another. Taking the leap into writing again and beginning my own business has been a favorite of mine as of late. And there are more personal paths I will not mention, but they were jumps of faith (or impulse) just the same.

But I share this small moment because it fits this format best. I can give you tangible proof that the road less traveled taken has its rewards. And if you should meet a Lion on this path, give it a wish and someday it may come true.


  1. A bruised and battered ghost of Ulysses once told me, "Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason."

    Just joking. Sorta. It is always good to be mindful of your surroundings in strange Ulysses also told me that, too.

    Still, like you, I am often put off by the well-traveled paths, the book everyone is reading, the movie I just have to see.

    I look for the small cricket in a store's doorway that might need a helping hand to be placed out of harm's way. I look for the small road that leads to wild horses and lush fields of green.

    But I watch the gas gauge and look for pot-holes.

    As always, you write a thought-provoking post. Have a beautiful, healing week.

    I will keep an eye out for that majestic Chinese Lion and add my blank wish to yours, Roland

  2. I meant to write "It is always a good thing to mind your surroundings on strange roads." Oops. Sorry, fumbled-fingered Roland

  3. I do understand Ulysses and he is right about some roads being bad choices. But a mindful person will learn early why such a road should not be followed and turn back. Or be better equipped learning from others folly and successfully travel that less traveled road using that knowledge.

    I had spent a career minding my surroundings and people. Not once in my 10 years in the MH field was I injured or attacked. Why? Because I payed attention and kept my head.

    But thank you and Ulysses for the wise and logical words.

    As for roads less traveled, all roads were once one of these. How does man know unless he explores. How do we grow unless we reach out.

    I am like you. I would see the cricket, the abandoned road, the old man sitting alone in the corner of a packed room or pick out the oddest piece of furniture from a junk store or unfamiliar literature from a stack of books.

    I have always felt this interest to be a gift. I assume you do too. And here is to wishes and majestic Lions. Thank you.

  4. Hey Nicole! Great post. I've become a better observer since I started writing and it's opened up a world for me.

    By the way, you won a prize at my blog giveaway.
    Email me your contact info at MedicalMondays (at) gmail (dot) com.

  5. What an awesome post! I do consider myself my observant now, and even think of daydreaming as "work related!" I love the pictures you posted, those are amazing.

  6. hi miss nicole! i like how you did lots of looking all by yourself. its cool to be out and see stuff cause it could make you think a lot. my brother works in mental health and hes real good at helping people.
    ...smiles from lenny

  7. Lydia: I think to be a writer you must be a watcher. But by the same token, writing can clear our view of the world. And as humans, we should be participators.

    AND what a wonderful surprise!!! Thank you so much for the opportunity and the win. All the prizes are very cool.

    Julie: Hey, daydreaming IS work related. That was I told all of my school and college teachers when they smacked my desk. ;-D ANd thank you. Photography is fairly new to me, but it has become a very satisfying way to tell stories in other ways.

    Lenny: Well hello Mr. Lenny. Nice to meet you! ;-D Walking down new paths or in others shoes makes us 'better' I think. I learned that in the mental health field. And a smile back at ya!



Related Posts with Thumbnails

Search This Blog