What’s Around That Corner?

A bend in the road

Occasionally when I am  out walking with Lotte and I look ahead and just for a moment wonder what might lie around that bend.  Is it something wonderful or something to be scared of?

And then I think of one of my favourite poems by Rudyard Kipling :

“They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.
Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate.
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods….
But there is no road through the woods. “

This was one of the poems that we learned at school and now some 55 years later, I can still recite it.

I do know that different interpretations of any poetry are possible. This poem talks to me of plans made and discarded in favour of new plans.  We can decide to take the road through the woods or an alternative perhaps easier way, where the road is still clear and unhampered, or we can take this way strewn with brambles and humps aka problems and challenges.  Some of us choose the easy way and enjoy life to a certain extent, never knowing how great it feels to overcome the challenges.  And the rest of us…..

Well we know what it is to go out into the world without a safety net.  Sure, it’s scary and not comfortable, but oh the joy when we accomplish what we had thought was impossible.

So today I am encouraging you (but only if you feel strong and secure enough of course) to ditch the safety net and meet life head on.  Who know what you may find.

“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily.  To not dare is to lose oneself. ”
Soren Kierkegaard
, 1813 –1855
Danish Christian philosopher, theologian and author.

And in no means meant as a postscript:

I should like to thank sincerely all 70 people who have subscribed to my blog and to the 14,000 plus visitors to this site.  Thank you, thank you.  I am honoured that you read my blogs and comment.  In fact, blown away would more accurately describe my feelings for you all.

Wind blowing cloud

via Clipart


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39 responses to “What’s Around That Corner?

  1. Great post. I think it’s all about living in the “gap,” that place between what we know and what we don’t know. That’s where possibility lies.

  2. The bright light suggests hopeful possibilities around the bend. We often overlook Kipling’s fine thoughtful poetry because if his fine novels.

  3. Thank YOU for writing. You’re wise and witty and a joy to read.

  4. It is my pleasure to be subscribed to you. I love reading your posts and I LOVE the message in this one, particularly!:)

  5. Depends on where and what.
    I like taking the road less traveled because it’s probably the more scenic and adventurous!
    If I’m about to embark on something I’m not enthused about, I’ll take the easy road. Gets it over with quicker.

    • Well we all tackle the easy thing first to get them out of the way and then venture into the jungle at the back of the garden or wherever the real challenges lie. 🙂

  6. I needed to hear that today, so thank you. 🙂

  7. I love Kipling and I love your posts…but you already know that! 🙂

  8. It’s a lovely poem…and the fact you can still recite it impresses me even more than the beauty of the words!

    • Well aeons ago when I went to school, learning poetry was mandatory. those that struck a chord somehow lodged in this ancient mind of mine. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  9. Funnily enough, when I saw that picture my first thought was to drive carefully because you don’t know what lunatic might be coming the other way, I applaud the idea of meeting the world head on, as long as it’s not in a car !

    • Yeah – well we have all met those idiots on the wrong side of the road and sometimes even on a bend, I strongly advise you (and everyone else) to stay well clear of them 🙂

  10. I tuned in today to catch slightly, treading water till the weekend.
    Thanks for the very timely encouragement, I’m not so sure about losing the safety net, but I am starting to face the world again … an acheivement in itself.
    You’ve hit the nail on the head once again. Nice to know you’re there.
    Thanks. 🙂

  11. Honored to be a subscriber to your lovely blog. Thank you.

  12. I agree with you, Judith. Just leap . . . and the net appears! 😀

  13. Another post that inspires. Beautiful words. Stay blessed my friend.

  14. As usual an insightful post. Amazing that you can recite the poem. Once I memorized something for a class and recited it–poof–gone for good.

  15. What a lovely path to walk. Getting out of our comfort zone once in awhile is good for us, gives us confidence we didn’t have before. My granddad loved poetry, and, being a school teacher in the days when horseback was still a mode of transportation, he would assign a poem to the grandkids and expect us to recite it back to him at our next visit. I only remember a line or two, not the entire piece as you have.

    • We had an English teacher (coincidentally named Miss English) who was an absolute fan of Kipling hence the learning of his poems. It was rumoured that she had been engaged to Rupert Brooke the poet who was killed in World War I and so we also learned many of his poems too. 🙂

  16. Mmm, this post is also a timely reminder for me to let go of the past and embrace the future without fear…
    Thanks ! x

  17. “But there is no road through the woods…” that is my favorite line from the poem… life is full of challenges and even when it seems as if some live cautious lives, it might not necessarily be the case. There will always be mountings to climb even for the seemingly fortunate and so we all trudge on…. such is life. Bravo! 🙂
    Finally catching up again… where did the time go? Phew! 🙂

    • I am catching up too. But I love reading all the posts of my ‘friends’. But will probably have to set aside a whole day to catch up really. 🙂

  18. Meant to say mountains to climb… now if only I could overcome the challenge of typos! C’est la vie! 😉

  19. Marianne (UK)

    How I remember Miss English at school. How she had the perfect reading voice. I think my love of reading was because of her and especially our Dad. Even now I have to read something before I go to sleep at night.
    Just reading Kiplings poem brought back other memories of our Posh Grammer school. X

    • I too remember Miss English and all the other dedicated teachers we had. Weren’t we lucky to have had them? I think Kipling is my all time favourite although Miss English’s was certainly Rupert Brooke.
      Thanks for the comment XX

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