We seem to live our lives following routes. There is a set of routes that you take to work, be they driving roads or subway trains. It’s all laid out for you in advance. The same seems true with other aspects of life. As a physics major in college and graduate school the courses followed a defined progression; each enabling me to take another step forward in secret knowledge, Bilbo Baggins, on the other hand and a bit reluctantly, was taking the less trodden path, the path to adventure. And I believe that it is the moment that you spy a new, and little explored path, that the adventure begins.
I have discussed how this one section of the road around Fresh Pond Reservation in Cambridge, MA seems to hold all of the magic. This is known as the Glacken Slope and true to form there is a path up the steep hill marked on its sides by aged decaying timbers that indicates the beckoning path. I have gone a little way up this path. It leads first into a forest, where the crows squawk loudly at your intrusion into their private domain. You can then either continue in the woods or emerge back into the daylight of “civilization.” But I have never found the time to explore it properly.
Still whenever I pause there I think first of Bilbo, which was truly a mental exploration of my adolescence, and of Robert Frost.
The Road not Taken