These many years later, I find I can still recite most of both poems. [A note to teachers…sometimes it sticks. Keep shaping and molding and building. Your work is significant.]
Oddly enough, this past Christmas season, while attending a local production of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, I ran into Mrs. Bozarth. I don’t think she remembered me, though we spent a few moments in conversation and I got to meet her grandchildren. I shared with her the memory of playing with the poems and how I had shared them with my own children, occasionally breaking out a line or two when they words came to mind.
It was such a pleasant connection for me, these poems, this teacher, and it caused me to pause.
I have been blessed with so many wonderful teachers through my life.
The parents who loved me and let me be me.
The grandparent who taught me how to be silly.
The uncle who taught me to frost a cake.
The aunt who loved me as her own child.
The uncle who challenged my ideas about success.
The first year kindergarten teacher who helped me take my first steps in learning.
The high school English teacher who called me to consider the future.
The youth director who named my calling.
The manager who pushed me to see I could learn from everyone.
The stranger who became a friend who became my girlfriend who became my wife who still teaches me what love is and does.
I could name the places I’ve been, the experiences I’ve had, the things I’ve seen and done, but I believe it is the people I have encountered along life’s path that have truly formed me.
I do well to remember I have the opportunity to be friend, guide, confidant, teacher or roadblock, derailer, destroyer, enemy for others on their path.
There are indeed “two roads diverged in a yellow wood”. One leads to more life and one leads to less. One path is full of goodness and kindness and gentleness and love, while the other is dark and full of despair, destruction, pain, and sorrow.
Here’s to hoping I help folks find and walk along the first path, especially those who have spent a lifetime walking the second. “As way leads on to way”, we can find the path to life if we seek it. Let’s seek it together.
Life is better together,
Check out what a few of my friends taking this journey with me think of this word…