Sunday, December 19, 2010

miles to go before I sleep


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. 


  1. just talked to you
    just read your thoughtful blog
    just love you

  2. I AM SO SO SO EXCITED TO SOAK IN THE MAGIC WITH YOU!!! I love this post and I love you. I love that you are my sister and we share genes.

  3. Saydi - I love this. "I need to watch the season fill us all up. I need to let it fill me up." You are wise and giving time to what matters. I feel just like you - too many promises, too many committed miles, but you've inspired me to give some of them up and stop. Love you.

  4. "They're so used to the perpetual motion of mom." So true Saydi.. I feel like I have to constantly remind myself to just take a break from it all and just BE with my kids. I never regret it when I do.

  5. Great take on this piece.

    I remember the very first time I read this poem as a junior in high school. My first question was "why did he stop?" Had he been riding too hard (with all those miles ahead of him), did he lose his boot in the snow, was the loveliness paralyzing?

    May you be a Christmas sponge--that's my wish for you.

  6. Saydi,
    I sooo hear you. Same problem here. Way too many miles for me. I hope you can drink it in and have a fantastic Christmas!

  7. So beautiful, Saydi. I think I'm going to take a walk in the snow tonight under your inspiration.

  8. Love your deep insights and perspectives and LOVE this poem!



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