While looking for something profound (or at least true) to say about New Year’s Day I found this poem by Rachel Field, Roads.
A road might lead to anywhere–
To harbor towns and quays,
Or to a witch’s pointed house
Hidden by bristly trees.
It might lead past the tailor’s door,
Where he sews with needle and thread,
Or by Miss Pim the milliner’s
With her hats for every head.
It might be a road to a great, dark cave
With treasure and gold piled high,
Or a road with a mountain tied to its end,
Blue-humped against the sky.
Oh, a road might lead you anywhere–
To Mexico or Maine.
But then, it might just fool you, and—
Lead you back home again!
This reminded me of a favorite poem, T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. From Burnt Norton, the first:
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future.
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage we did not take.
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
Little Gidding is probably my favorite of the four.
….We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.