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Byways I

 

1 November 2018 - 30 April 2019

   
Dedicated to
 the late Walter Brian Ward (1927-2012) and his beloved wife Brenda, former colleagues at the Missouri Botanical Garden and good friends ever since.        

The First Image of the Exhibit

…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Whether Robert Frost, in his poem The Road Not Taken, was in earnest or perhaps being cynical, this writer always prefers to take the way less traveled, whenever possible. (Our lives seldom permit us to travel on byways exclusively, but I believe that it’s a lot more doable, and desirable, than we often realize.)

Even if his choice might have made a difference, Frost would not have gone far wrong no matter which way he chose, in my opinion, as both, being located in a wood, qualified as a byway, and thereby would have encouraged a slower, more reflective and altogether more enjoyable experience than if had he headed out of the wood and onto a busy highway.

Country Road, Donington on Bain

Lincolnshire, England

20 August 2009

 

 

Taking a byway is, figuratively as well as literally, as much a matter of time as it is of distance. But slower is not always less productive and often it’s more enjoyable. Andre Moreau expressed this sentiment well in the 1952 movie, Scaramouche:

Happy is the rascal, traveling life’s byways, to whom the gods say, here is an easy switch. You may have lost Diana on the highway, but look, there is Aphrodite in a ditch.

Put another, pleasantly persuasive way by Flora Thompson, in A Country Calendar:

I never, if I can avoid it, set foot upon the highway, but, as soon as my work is done, drop over the orchard wall, cross my neighbour’s valley farm, climb the opposite hill, and there, upon the upland heath, I have all the solitude heart could desire.

Come, then, with me over my “orchard wall” and set foot, for a quiet moment, upon some of the byways of the world which I have found so refreshing through the years…

 

The First Image of the  Exhibit

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