Miles to Go Before I Sleep

Stopping by woods on a snowy evening

Lovely Dark and Deep Woods – Makes me want to stop by woods on a snowy evening

“How many of you wanted to ignore your alarm this morning?”

Every student’s hand went up. And so did mine.

“Right. That’s what I figured you would say. I’m sure each of you have your reasons for getting up and coming to class today. However you break it down, ultimately, each of us felt obligated to come to class and get out work done. It’s about responsibility.”

These words were part of the conversation I had with my high school class about Robert Frost’s poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

While the bed is not the same as the woods referred to in the poem and Frost clearly meant to appreciate nature, the students understood what I meant and could relate it to Frost’s poem. In fact, a number of them noted that Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening was their favorite of the ones we learned this term.

From there we discussed responsibility verses relaxation. They are old enough to understand and appreciate commitments. Many of them complained of being tired.

Did you know this famous American poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening was written in 1922? Why is that date relevant?

Well, how often does it seem that we in our generation are overwhelmed by our obligations?  We wonder why conveniences such as the microwave, computer and cell phone have made our lives more filled, rushed, and stressful. We yearn for a time when things were simpler.

Yet Frost’s aged poem which takes place in the presumably quaint outskirts of a small town, focus on the narrator’s inability to rest and appreciate nature. No, he must move on and get back to town and his obligations. He has work to do.

Is his time period so different from ours?

This poem is on my mind not simply because I taught it to a class this week.  But because I am struggling to feel on top of things.  If only I had 25, 26, 27 hours, maybe then I could finish…

No, that’s not it.

I go to bed after 12 and am up at 5:30 (half the times with my son in my bed but that’s another story). I know I need more sleep, but I can’t get it.

I’ve tried.

The only way I fall asleep these days during the workweek is if I am exhausted. My mind races as I review have to’s and obligations.  If I would spend more time working on completing these tasks and less time thinking…

Yet, it seems completion of one task makes me recognize two more that need to be accomplished. So, I think more. And worry. And concern myself.

I want to stop in those The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   woods [that] are lovely, dark, and deep,

Yet, I have much to do.

In fact, I have miles to go before I sleep.

Photo Credit: Mrs. MMK. Great photographer – isn’t she!!!!