“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.”

I’ve always loved the Frost poem for which this is the opening line, and it came to mind yesterday as I was walking through a local wood here in St. Paul. Thanks to the polar vortex, we’re just beginning to emerge from the longest, coldest period here in Minnesota in twenty-five years. Day after day, the sky is a beautiful cornflower blue and when I’m outside, my breath is the same color as the snow under my boots. Despite the bitter cold, I’ve been committed to walking every day. In the last week, I’ve spent several afternoons outside when the wind chill was nearing 30 below. I’m blessed with a down parka that holds in my body heat, but I admit that my toes are a bit frigid by the end.

I walk in this cold for a couple of reasons. First of all, I want the weather to control my life as little as possible. Here in the North Country, we’re used to the cold, even the bitterest, and we pride ourselves on going about our business as usual, even at 30 below. But also, I feel so very good after I’ve walked. Our connection with the natural world is one of the greatest spiritual uplifts imaginable, and when I’m in a wood, yellow or not, I feel as if my soul is being fed.

I know that so many Americans are struggling right now to deal with this winter blast and all the terrible challenges that it presents. It is, indeed, life threatening. Still, I hope that wherever you are, you’re able to find a way to connect with all the beautiful energy of nature as well. I hope that you are able to find a way to feed your soul.

4 thoughts on ““Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.””

  1. I love this line, ” Our connection with the natural world is one of the greatest spiritual uplifts imaginable, and when I’m in a wood, yellow or not, I feel as if my soul is being fed.” I’m in coastal Oregon where it doesn’t get that cold and I walk daily in my fields and forest with my animals no matter the weather. Gotta admit the sunny dry days are easier than the wet windy days, and only my Labrador comes with me on the wet windy ones. It is always worth the effort. My soul is well satiated from these walks. I’ve so enjoyed discovering you as an author and after visiting your web site I realize I have much pleasure yet to come. Also have enjoyed watching/listening to a couple of interviews with you on youtube, you seem like such a nice person, down to earth and happy. I’ll be looking for more of your books. Stay well.

  2. I just finished Ordinary Grace and I must say that I haven’t been so impressed with the story in a novel in many years, if ever! Having grown up on a corn and soybean farm in a small midwest town in the 50’s and 60’s where the HS days and the Methodist Church were the greatest influence on my young life it really hit home. It was a time that we could be free to wander and just be a kid. I could see myself and many of my friends in the summer of ’61 in New Bremen.

  3. I just finished This Tender Land. I absolutely loved the story. I couldn’t put it down. By the end i was crying, l could see Obie and Emmy together by the river. This story touched mutt heart and opened my eyes, and i thank you for that. I was unaware of the extent of the abuse to the Native Americans. I am horrified and shamed by the way our ancestors treated them! But I grateful to you for bringing this abuse to light for those of us who were unaware. My heart breaks for the families who lived through that time in history. I fell in love with the characters that you brought to life. I now plan to read your other books and I’m excited for the places that will take me.
    I too am a fan of the Robert Frost poem and think about it often when faced with a fork in my life path. Thank you William Kruger.

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