Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Where Two Roads Diverge, Spring Thoughts

Green Wheat Field


A Thought for the Spring Equinox


“We stand now where two roads diverge.

But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem,

they are not equally fair.

The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway

on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster.

The other fork of the road—the one “less traveled by”—offers our last, our only chance

to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”

Rachel Carson, 1907-1964

Scientist, Writer, Ecologist

Author of The Silent Spring.

This 1962 environmental classic focused on the toxic effects of synthetic pesticides following the mass death of birds after a DDT spraying. Carson touched off an avalanche of environmental awareness that continues to this day.

Almost fifty years later, what have we learned?  Will we continue to walk the path of over-consumption and disregard for the environment?

Have we taken the wrong path?  If so, can we turn around?

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  1. I don’t know about roads diverging today in particular. I’m feeling a bit low and anxious, reading the headlines on the BBC news feed. Missile strikes in Libya, hundreds of thousands of cold, griefstricken Japanese people. I can’t focus on the environment today much as I would like to. As without so within. Today is the Spring Equinox, I pray that the wheel will turn.

  2. Joanna,

    I understand how you feel. Those all seem like immediate emergencies so it’s challenging to think beyond them. There’s no question we need to care for what’s happening immediately at hand. I’m sorry you feel so unsettled, but it’s so understandable. These are sad and difficult times. I will pray with you for the wheel to turn. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Stella

    We all have days when we feel like that when the wider picture seems to overwhelm us. All any of us can do is listen to our own heart and try to live our lives accordingly.
    I hope for sunnier days for you.

  4. In her day Ms Carson was thought to be quite radical and strident. Today, she is seem as a visionary and the first voice in the wilderness. I read her book but don’t think I’ve ever seen this take on the Robert Frost original. Thanks for sharing it, Sandra.

    The earthquake in Japan is just the latest example of a restive earth. We have this image that we live on a solid rock that is stable and predictable. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    • Hi Bob,

      Yes, she was! There was a great backlash against her ideas and her work. It’s amazing to know she was voicing these concerns almost fifty years ago. Thanks for sharing your memories of Rachel Carson.

  5. Hi Sandra ~ This is a great call to action, and perfect for today on Spring Solstice.

    I’d love to see more support for organic products in the major grocery stores. The more we consumers choose to buy organic the more our stores will increase the organic items they stock.

    On a similar thought, I love this quote from John Lennon: “If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”

    • Hi Sue, Thanks for this wonderful quote from John Lennon.

      This is a good point and I agree fully: the more we each express our economic clout, the more business will change. Only a tiny percentage of people buy organic produce or products. At the current time, most organic products cost considerably more than non-organic ones. So it’s a tough challenge for the average person. Even if they wanted to eat organic, it’s not easy when it comes to the budget. Yet some of us need to be the pioneers and make these choices.

  6. I feel that we have definitely headed down the wrong path. Rather than turn around, I think we have to, inch by inch, move our path towards a different, more healthy one for us and the planet. And maybe the other one can move just a little to meet us somewhere in the middle. Then, together, with critical mass, we can move in the right direction. It is really the only hope for our children and their children. We have to make this our priority and impress upon them its importance.

    • I love the way you think, Debbie. Lateral action may indeed be the right direction. The idea of aiming for a critical mass also makes sense to me. So many positive movements are budding – like green living and minimalism. We need to nourish them like a baby we love dearly. Thanks for adding your unique spin on the question.

  7. Sandra, although I wasn’t always a big Robert Frost fan (I tend to go for more of the unrhyming types), I have always LOVED this poem of his!

    Everything in our lives is about crossroads. It’s all about decisions. And one decision leads to another. They’re not always perfect. But they do make differences in how our perceptions turn out. Thank you for sharing!

    • So nice to see you, Bryan! I appreciate your insight into how life is all about decisions. There’s a decision in each and every moment as to how we will be, isn’t there! This is a beautiful reminder to stay conscious to our choices. Thank you so much.

  8. Hi caring and wonderful Sandra,

    The one way we can see how we’re doing within is to look at the external without and the external world isn’t doing to well. Which tells me we need to change our thoughts, words and actions. Seeing the entire world wrapped in love before going to sleep at night is a way I cover everyone and everything.

    I also think it’s important to remember we don’t know what anything is for and we can never see the whole picture.

    • These are such good points, Tess. Everything is just is as it is and it’s best not to put too many labels on it. At the same time, the great spiritual masters I know are concerned about the environment and the future of humanity. My sense is that they see far more of the picture than I do. They full agree with you —> we need to change our thoughts, words, and deeds in a positive direction!

      The most wholesome thing we can do is love. I’m so happy that you always remind us of the healing force of love. I love being under your big, cozy love blanket every night. 🙂

  9. perfect usage of words
    keep it up 🙂

  10. I read an article this morning on how the recession has caused Americans to favor fixing the economy over environmental concerns and felt a moment of utter dismay. How long will it take us to see that a dead planet won’t support any economy? In the years since Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, I think we’ve become more polarized about environmental issues. It’s become a contentious political issue, and while many of us are struggling to get back on to a path of sustainability, others are denying that we’ve had any impact at all. At this point, some aspects of climate change are already so well underway that we can’t go back to the other path — we can only adapt and act more wisely in the future, or not.

    • Jennifer,

      You raised several important points here. On the one hand, there seems to be more interest in living green and some thing have become more integrated in our culture – like recycling to some degree. But I think you are right, there’s a great deal of contention around environmental issues. It seems like the idea of giving up our indulgences is threatening to many people and most people seem to be unaware of the immediate and future impacts. You are right, we can’t go back to the other path. And only time will tell if we adapt adequately.

  11. I was fortunate to have been introduced to both the Frost poem and Silent Spring when I was in elementary school. I wonder if schools are as brave about introducing students to thought-provoking material as they used to be?

    I’m more informed than I used to be about green issues, and I produce less waste and recycle more than I used to, but I don’t really know if people in general are like me. I guess I will try to do the right thing in plain sight of my neighbors.

  12. Having no children, I have no idea what kinds of material are read in schools these days. That’s definitely the place we can make a difference for the future. Children are the future.

    I think most people aren’t like you. Modeling greener behaviors is one way to stimulate interest and discussion. Good idea. Thanks for your thoughts.

  13. Sandra,

    This world needs us right now. It needs that our inspiration touches its heart.
    Some wrong paths we have taken, that’s true, but, is time to stop and start walking new ones.

    I love your header, it has color and inspiration – the essence of Always Well Within.

    Thank you ♥

    • Vivian,

      I like the spirit of stopping and starting to walk new ones. Beautifully said!

      Thanks for your positive feedback. I feel very good with this header too. I think it’s here to stay for awhile. At least more than a few days. 🙂

      I appreciate your loving support.

  14. > deceptively easy
    I like that frame.

    Delayed gratification is a skill and a habit. Choosing the path of long term gain over short term pain is tough in a world blossoming with immediate gratification.

    • JD, You have such a good eye for a golden nugget. You also have a gift for framing the main point so well! Thanks, my friend.

  15. This is such a big subject, Sandra, and thank you for broaching it. I do believe we’ve taken a wrong turn and who knows if we can find our way back. We have been abusing Mother Earth for so long and still, too many deny her cry for help. In a society where money talks, we need to strike where it hurts and that’s at the profit margins. I’d love, in my lifetime, to see legislation passed imposing heavy fines on companies that generate toxic waste and de-face the planet’s natural landscape because that’s the only time they’d take this seriously. But since progressive legislation is always contentious, we’ll each have to do our part by acting responsibly and respectfully of our one planet. We could boycott companies that aren’t green, we could stop buying drinks in plastic bottles, we could forego the paper cups for our coffee/tea… There’s a lot of little things we can do. But we need to do them together.

    • Belinda,

      Thanks for offering this very grounded perspective. It’s sad but true that when you aim your strategy toward the pocketbook it’s the most likely to succeed. Fortunately, there are many individuals who are waking up, educating themselves, and taking the kinds of actions you describe. But will it be enough when corporations continue to abuse the earth to gain their market share and puff up their profit margin? Only time will tell. It’s good to see you and hear your voice on these matters. Thanks so much for your comment.

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