The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
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.
This is my favorite poem--me and a lot of other people, I am sure. The premise is so simple, and yet so profoundly true: the road you choose makes all the difference.
I love those little quiet places, seldom traveled and out-of-the-way. There is something very exciting and yet soothing about being somewhere that hasn't seen very many human footprints. It's even more fun if those occasional footprints belonged to people of long ago.
There's a place just off of Aravaipa Canyon in south-central Arizona that reeks of history and is definitely a less-traveled road. It's a gash in the desert, shaded from the harsh reality of the desert above. The sheer rock walls angle over the canyon floor. Cottonwood and Sycamore filter the sunlight. In the autumn, those trees drop colorful, oval leaves and turn the blue granite boulders into mosaics of color.
A lazy creek wanders from one side of the canyon wall to the other, ambling back and forth like a child chasing a butterfly. Coatis run amok in the canyon, a gang of noisy delinquents. I don't speak Coati, but if I did, I bet I'd be shocked at the names they call eachother. Canyon Wrens stay above the fray to make their liquid songs fill the canyon. Whitetail deer and black bear visit, but don't stay.
It's a quiet place, ancient and delicate. If you listen carefully, you can hear the echoes of the ones who walked here before: Hohokams, Mogollons, Saladoans, settlers and ranchers and Basque sheep herders. The sounds of the bawling cattle, bleating sheep and even the sounds of the massacre have faded away to a whisper....a whisper of a road less traveled.