Monday, January 7, 2013

The Choice

Today I'm thrilled to have a guest post by Jeannie Prinsen, who blogs at Little House on the Circle. I've come to know Jeannie through the comments section at Tim Fall's blog. Her hopeful thoughts and wise insights are always uplifting. Jeannie is an online writing instructor/tutor at Queen's University. A few days ago I dropped by her place where she shared this poem with me. It struck a chord since very recently I was beckoned by "Narnian whiteness"! I felt her poem would compliment the pictures I took while hiking near my home through Narnia last week. It also inspired a theme for my goals this year: "plunging forth with joy". 

The Choice

I stood before the path into the woods.
Its Narnian whiteness beckoned to me, yet
being loath to spoil the smooth expanse of snow
and knowing night was falling dark and fast,
I turned and said, "Another day will do."

A small decision, hardly thought of till
an early thaw comes, and the snowy trails
turn muddy brown -- and I, with wistfulness,
recall that hushed midwinter moment when
I stood before the path into the woods.

I see it still: the long inverted V
of that straight road into the forest deep,
the fenceposts frosted thick with powered snow.
Bewitching promise of an unwalked trail!
Its Narnian whiteness beckons to me yet.

In retrospect my reasons seem so slight:
excuses not to dare. Had evening come,
my footprints would have easily led me back
(assuming I had wanted to return).
Being loath to spoil the smooth expanse of snow?

That now seems an especially foolish thought.
Surely the fresh and untouched path desired
that some exploring foot, some questing heart,
would break the surface, plunging forth with joy.
Now, knowing night is falling dark and fast,

I vow to take the path. So what if that
was this year's final snowfall? Then I'll wait
till winter comes again and draws me in
to that charmed world. I'll go, brave-souled and glad,
not turn and say, "Another day will do."

c Jeannie Prinsen 2011
please do not share or reproduce without author permission

+ + +

Proof I was really in Narnia.

More proof.


  1. This is absolutely lovely! I've already read it through twice and will come back to it again to let it soak into me. Beautifully phrased, wonderful message, and of course, Adriana's photos once again fit perfectly and bring the poem even more to life. Thank you, Jeannie and Adriana!

    1. Thank you for letting us know that you enjoyed it, Sandy!

  2. Beautiful words and photos. thank you both for sharing with us. And in those words, Jeannie, I will point out again that these are the words that especially speak to me, chastising and building me up at the same time - "my reasons seem so slight: excuses not to dare".


    1. While I don't want to over-analyze, I should just say in response, Tim, that I was really trying not to convey a sense of "Well you blew it, that's it, no do-overs!" but to suggest that even a desire for re-orientation & a new start is in itself a new start of sorts.

    2. I especially love how you wrapped it up in the last stanza,

      "So what if that was this year's final snowfall? Then I'll wait till winter comes again and draws me into that charmed world."

      I'm thankful God always gives me new opportunities to revel in wonder!

  3. Kudos to both of you ... great work!

    1. Thank you! Working with Jeannie on this was a delight! I'm so glad you stopped by! :)

  4. Thanks, Adriana, for inviting me here! This has been a great experience and hopefully you can be my guest soon too.

    1. It has been my honor to have you! Thank you for "plunging forth with joy" and sharing your talent with us!

  5. Stunning. It makes one think about living and loving every moment

  6. Beautiful! the sound of this poem reminds me so much of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. :)

    beautiful images Adriana!

    1. Thank you, Sheena. That was a really special snow. I stepped outside and felt like I was entering Narnia. I hope we get another snow like it this year!

      I'll tell Jeannie you left a comment. We had a great time working together on this project and on the more recent one: "Ascending."

    2. Thanks for your comments, Sheena. Yes, a lot of people say that the poem reminds them of the Frost poem, but it was actually a photograph (not one of Adriana's) that inspired it.


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