Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening – Robert Frost
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.
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 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.
I’ve always loved this poem, but it’s hit me in a different way this year.
All of December I’ve had this longing to soak in the Christmas season. But I’m constantly a little stressed about all the thousands of little promises I have to keep and all the miles I have to go before I sleep.
Does anyone else feel like this about now? There are so many lovely things surrounding us…the twinkling tree, the delighted children, the soft carols. I’ve tried to make myself stop and enjoy the wonder of it all, but am always beaconed on by all those darn promises and miles.
But now, a week before Christmas, the Amazon boxes have mostly all arrived. The tree is up. The timers are all set for the Christmas lights. I need to stop, at least for some big chunks of time. I need to watch the season fill us all up. I need to let it fill me up. I think, at first, just like that little horse, my children may think it queer to see me stop, without a pressing task at hand. They’ll look at me as if to ask if there is some mistake, they’re so used to the perpetual motion of mom. But then, I’m hoping, we’ll all reveal in the stillness of being present.
Sure, there’s always miles to go before we sleep. But that shouldn’t stop us from stopping to listen to the sweep of easy wind and downy flake. That shouldn’t stop us from taking time to soak in all that is lovely, dark and deep around us. Especially this time of year.
Wish me luck.