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A Moment on The Road Less Traveled

A Moment on The Road Less Traveled by Caroline Dawson, LMSW

As the season in Kansas City is shifting from summer to autumn, I’m taking a breath and a brief moment in the business of the day to picture Autumn; to hold the image of it in my mind. Approaching autumn in Kansas means the sun is still warm, the nights are cooler and tomatoes are still plentiful on the vine.

In Kansas we can expect the trees to start turning to red, orange, gold and bronze any day now.

It’s a perfect time for a stroll through the woods.

And, we can take that stroll in body or in our imagination. There is evidence that shows nature has a positive impact on overall mood and well-being. Even if we can’t get outside ourselves, with the power of imagination we can still reap many of the benefits.

Let’s take a stroll.

  1. Get outside. If that’s not an option keep reading.
  2. Perhaps a guided visualization could take you there. A google search of “Guided Nature Meditation” provides many options.
  3. Reminiscing about a favorite walk through nature – a childhood visit to the beach, a walk in the woods or through a favorite park. We can take this bit of respite for ourselves and we can prompt it for our residents and loved ones. Here are some prompts to try:
    1. Tell me about a favorite walk you have taken?” Ask about details – what did you see, hear, smell, touch, taste?
    2. “Where was your favorite place to go outdoors as a child? As a teen? As a young adult? Etc…”
    3. Or be more specific “Tell me about at time you walked in the woods.” “…on the beach.” “…in the mountains.” “…swam in a lake or river.”
  4. Read some poetry about nature. Familiar poetry taps into a comfortable space in our brains and can take us on a journey weather it is familiar or not. This spring I wrote about Finding a Common Language Through Poetry when communicating with individuals with memory loss.

In honor of the approaching autumn, I share with you Robert Frost’s poem The Road Less Traveled.

Here is a link to the poem from the Poetry Foundation. You can find a link to a recording of the poem through the same link.

 

The Road Not Taken by 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.

Interested in finding more poems about Autumn – or anything else? Try the search feature on the Poetry Foundation’s website!

Interested in more information about the connection of memory with poetry? Take a look at my post from this spring: Finding a Common Language Through Poetry

What are your favorite nature poems?

 

 

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