Robert Frost is my favorite poet. His poems have that simple yet beautiful sense to them, and whenever I finish reading one – whether filled with images of forked roads, or changing seasons, or fire and ice – I always acknowledge his work with a quiet, “Wow.”
I’ve been thinking about Robert Frost a lot lately. Every so often, more and more frequently now, a line or phrase from one of his poems will pop into my head. I think my Robert Frost syndrome stems from the current time of year, especially as a senior.
For Robert Frost, winter means age. Winter signifies death…or, sometimes, change.
Last weekend, one of my friends brought a legit set of tarot cards to a party. I watched her flip over three cards and read the fortunes of several of my other friends. But after everyone was given a glimpse of their future, then, of course the inevitable question for me was, “Do you want your fortune read?”
Caitlyn characteristic #57: I’m incredibly superstitious. If a black cat crosses my path (which has, for whatever reason, happened to me way too often), I’ll have a mini panic attack for the rest of the day and will immediately throw a handful of salt over my left shoulder as soon as I track down some salt.
Needless to say, I was apprehensive of the whole fortune-reading thing because I actually tend to treat stuff like that seriously.
One of the cards that came up in my hand was Death. My heart started beating a million beats a minute. Death? Perfect. But after a little internet research (and after my friend consulted her handy-dandy “Tarot Card Guide Book”), I learned that in tarot readings, “Death” rarely means, you know, death. Death often comes before a great change or a wild transformation.
Death is a new beginning. Winter before spring.
I still remember my senior year of high school so vividly. That year was filled with excitement; I was constantly looking forward – waiting for the flurry of acceptances and deferrals and denials, waiting for a fresh start and a new chapter and all those other “new” clichés.
Now it’s my senior year – of college. I can recall driving up to Delaware, my whole family in tow, ready to move into Russell. Then we arrived…a day early. My mom had read the date of freshman move-in incorrectly. (Side note: My mom is – usually – never wrong. My whole family trusted her unflinchingly. Hence the surprise at this particular mix-up.) We finally got off the exit, drove past the then-intimidatingly-huge football stadium, found the (empty?) Russell dorms…and realized what had happened. Major face-palm moment. But I was actually relieved; as soon as I got into my mom’s red CRV, my previous excitement morphed into terrified anxiety faster than I could say, “Blue hens.” In the car, I asked my mom and dad what would happen – did they remember their freshman years?
“Yeah it’s scary,” my dad admitted. “Definitely at first. But before you know it, it’ll be your senior year of college and you’ll be graduating again.”
Why did he have to be so right?
“…To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?”