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Miles to go before I sleep

‘The woods are lovely, dark and deep’ … if you know who wrote the lines you have a clue to where I am and indeed the place that is now home for some time to come.  Fancy a guess? Leave a comment below and those of you who already know keep your council a while longer if you please.

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The picture is in response to the Daily Press challenge to greet this nearly new year and titled ‘Circle’ – here are the other several hundreds of wonderful entries.

This place where I landed a week and a day ago has the most unimaginably beautiful light.  Gentle, pale, soft, benign and the reflection in the frozen pond of delicate sky charmed us as greatly as the ripples made static circles by the freezing puff of winters breath

Here, to make my test entirely untesting is the poem that gave me the line that seemed so apt to title this new chapter in my life:

 

 

 

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
The little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’

Robert Frost
98 Comments Post a comment
  1. What a gorgeous place!

    January 6, 2016
    • Oh it is! Quite lovely 🙂

      January 6, 2016
  2. I want to be there 🙂 So beautiful.

    January 6, 2016
    • The light is just blissful, Andrew … I love my French home and the skies are often such a vivid blue that it’s almost rude but this gentler, softer hue is quite new and I feel very moved by it. And it’s closer than France 😉

      January 6, 2016
  3. Pan #

    Ok, I did my detective work and utterly failed.. Robert Frost was born in San Fran, Cali and finding a frozen lake there would be a weather phenomenon on a grand scale.. And I couldn’t find anything online that might reveal those woods.. I read on 2 literally sites that when asked, Mr. Frost said it just came to him one night and he wrote it in one sitting.. Its a great poem, like some songs are where the reader/listener finds their own special meaning in it.. That reminds me, I have so much yet to do ! 😁
    But this post really got my attention because of where I was this morning.. Willington, Ct. truckstop has a lake just across the road that not only eerily looks like the picture but is frozen over too..I wish I’d seen this post when I was there.. I woulda bounced right out the truck and hopped over there again just to take a picture! !!! I’ll try and remember to next time I stop there.. I take Stewie swimming there as much as we can.. He knows “Ruby Lake” when I say it and is just beside himself jumping in n out the bunk until I get parked, whining and howling the whole time..

    January 6, 2016
    • You are right on Frost and you are right that he was born in San Francisco but he moved states when he was 11 years old and much of his writing is around this place. I guess Willington can’t be too far from the place I photographed … and it is true that I am a legal alien for the next chapter. Not an Englishman in New York but an English girl in New England 🙂

      January 6, 2016
  4. Pan #

    Wait a minute, I might have a pic of the lake in my gallery.. please tell me how to post a picture in my comment.. I’ve tried clipboard and it doesn’t work.. I don’t have a pc or laptop.. I do this on my android..

    🏇 off to find a pic of it if i have it !

    January 6, 2016
    • I actually don’t know how to do it myself … I get very frustrated with comments because I don’t know how to do anything but write words and post links but pictures are beyond me. I’ll just have to close my eyes and imagine and also imagine Stewie swimming …. The Bean is very impressed with this fact but not so impressed that she is willing to try it for herself!

      January 6, 2016
  5. Pan #

    The Bean would do well.. its a fairly shallow lake lol.. It was so weird to see your lake when I was at “ours” just hours ago.. You really made my day 😁

    January 6, 2016
    • I DO like to make a day! The Bean may try it in Spring but for now she is getting used to skating – we both thought we knew about snow but this stuff that is seemingly glazed with a layer of thick ice is quite new!

      January 6, 2016
  6. Pan #

    😨 so it was taken up here in N.E. !!!

    🙆 I win ! I win !

    Ok, what do I get ? And it better be good..

    😉

    January 6, 2016
    • Oh gosh …. I’ll have to think of a suitable award. I think it should be called the Pan Global Gold Star 😀

      January 6, 2016
  7. Pan #

    Are you in Maine perchance ?

    January 6, 2016
    • Pretty close – its MA 🙂

      January 6, 2016
  8. Pan #

    I was surprised that Ruby lake froze over.. I wouldn’t walk on it but I did let Stewie skate for sticks.. But I kept him on the leash.. its been so warm up til a week ago..

    January 6, 2016
    • I arrived last Tuesday which I think was the day of the first snow in Boston according to the driver who brought me home. I can’t skate but I discovered very soon afterwards that if you sit on this stuff on a hill you descend very rapidly! It’s a learning curve …..

      January 6, 2016
  9. Pan #

    Lol.. I saw the funniest New England bumper sticker a few months ago..
    It said :

    Born a Masshole
    Raised a Maineiac

    I just had to laugh..

    January 6, 2016
    • I love that!

      January 6, 2016
      • Pan #

        It will come to mind often if you drive any of the main arteries in and around Boston..

        January 6, 2016
      • I’m driving to Cambridge tomorrow morning so that might work. The house is about 40 miles west to give a clue to the location. I’m still trying to get my bearings but I am loving what I have seen so far …. NEW England is so much bigger than England!

        January 6, 2016
      • Pan #

        Hahahaha it must be Woostah, Ma.. or darn close.. I just rolled thru there about 7am this morning on I290.. lol

        January 6, 2016
      • Pretty close indeed – one of the things that is oddest for me is having English place names next to one another that aren’t next to one another at home. Most confusing. The lake I photographed lies half in Stow and half in Sudbury (at least I think that’s right!) Let me know when you are passing again and we will wave!

        January 7, 2016
      • Pan #

        And yes the spelling is phonetic.. I want you to know how to pronounce it so you don’t get dirty looks from any Massholes..

        January 6, 2016
      • Thank you for your concern!!

        January 7, 2016
  10. Pan #

    Ok now you’re giving me the willies.. I have been needing since yesterday a title for an award I will be giving out.. And you just gave me the perfect name for it.. whoa 😮

    January 6, 2016
    • That is extremely spooky. In a good way! My pleasure to assist 🙂

      January 6, 2016
  11. Pan #

    Hahahahaha.. yes, its called sledding.. some ppl do body sled but the majority of us like a sled to ride on.. Lol
    There’s no snow in England ? Wasn’t there snow in Dickens A Christmas Carol ?

    January 6, 2016
    • Where I am from we get snow but not much – apparently Dickens was writing at a time of a mini-ice-age in England. So I read recently. I actually live mostly in France and in the mountains so we get plenty of the white stuff but it tends to be either powdery or quite wet and mushy – The Bean has perfected her skills on both but this ice-snow is new to me. I think a sled is the answer!!

      January 6, 2016
      • Pan #

        Be careful.. slipping in powder or slush is much softer than rock hard ice.. if you plan on driving this winter and have never driven on ice or experienced black ice, please read up on it.. Black ice is treacherously tricky as it is dull not shiny, and often looks like dry road..

        January 6, 2016
      • Thank you for the warning, which I take very seriously. I will be sure to read up on black ice driving … we do get it in England and in France but I suspect it is more profound here from what I have seen already

        January 7, 2016
  12. Pan #

    Gosh, that lake could be most anywhere in Massachusetts.. Wait until you see all the trees glazed with ice.. And with just the right angle of the sun, it has rainbows that dance as you’re driving.. It doesn’t come up in video.. And its rare to see them, which really makes them a treat for the eyes..

    January 6, 2016
    • Oh I can’t WAIT to see that!

      January 6, 2016
      • Pan #

        I will be so tickled if you can get a video of it in a moving car..

        January 6, 2016
  13. One of my favorite poems and the perfect photo to illustrate! I’m just west of Boston too… lots of lakes and ponds to choose from. Hmm, maybe this is Walden Pond? Enjoy your time in New England! ~Jean

    January 6, 2016
    • Hello Jean! Thank you for following my blog …. I am like a little girl in shop full of new toys right now! I’m flattered that you felt the picture was right for the poem – given that he is your poet!

      January 7, 2016
  14. What a lovely photo! Very New England…. Or North East. And in fact looks like it could be in my own back yard. (I was going to guess New Hampshire for some reason. I don’t know why). Anyway, nicely done.

    January 6, 2016
    • Hello Janet and thank you so much for following my blog! I look forward to following yours too having taken a sneaky peek just now – very envious of your acres and you are surely a kindred spirit. Glad you liked the picture – New England seems achingly photogenic on the basis of my grand total 8 days of experience so far! A bientot!

      January 7, 2016
      • Well hello! And welcome to this corner of the planet. (And thanks for the follow). I’m looking very much forward to keeping in touch and following your adventure. Only 8 days?! Wow!

        January 7, 2016
  15. Pan #

    That’s New Englanders for ya.. Welcoming and warm.. I’m a transplant and when I bought my property you wouldn’t believe the help I was given by people who were strangers.. for about 5 mins.. Now they are friends I get to visit with when I’m up here.. I always enjoyed my customers when delivering in Maine but I really didn’t know that friendliness is part of the culture.. At least that’s my experience in the Bangor area.. I hope you find it the same in Ma.

    Hope you beat the morning rush hour getting to Cambridge.. After 630am it all jams up.. I’m predicting a post on Boston traffic after you’ve driven around town a few times.. lol It has the potential to be a hair raising story with many twists and turns and edge of the seat stuff..
    Thanks for the great post, I was entertained in the post and the comments !

    January 7, 2016
    • Watch this space and so glad you enjoyed the post and the conversation!

      January 7, 2016
  16. Beautiful! Lyrical writing and great pictures!🎨

    January 7, 2016
    • Thank you – always kind you are!

      January 7, 2016
  17. I’m guessing you’re in the States somewhere around New Hampshire – since that was the name of the collection. Have you moved for good?

    January 7, 2016
    • I’m in Massachusetts. My husband is a Harvard Professor and I will be here for a while but back and forth to home which remains France 🙂

      January 7, 2016
  18. A great picture and you are so right about the light in Boston (on the east coast in fact), it does have a mellow hue to it – or at least I have always found that at this time of year. I am interested to see how your new location impacts on your choice of writing and subject matter.

    January 7, 2016
    • It’s odd, Cam – I’ve never felt so foreign. So I’m guessing that it will all have an impact on the written word. The light, of course has arrested far greater writers than me. But arrest it does – it was the first thing I noticed 🙂

      January 7, 2016
      • None are better than you Fiona. Take up your pen and free your soul.

        January 7, 2016
      • Not use it like a mighty sword then?

        January 7, 2016
      • No, with beauty, love and poise.

        January 7, 2016
      • Oh, ok then 🙂

        January 8, 2016
      • Don’t sound so…. Fiona, Fight the world with Love and Beauty and build it in that image….!
        What the bloody hell am I talking about? Bugger the pen, get out the sword…!

        January 9, 2016
      • I knew you’d see sense 😉

        January 9, 2016
      • 😉

        January 9, 2016
  19. I don’t know where you are, but that is certainly a magnificent shot. The water literally looks like it’s glowing, like it’s some sort of magical pond 😀 It sort of doesn’t look like water – but a smooth piece of ice. Have fun where you are 🙂

    January 7, 2016
    • I’m in Massachusetts … the water did look magical – it was irresistible but not so irrisitible that I tried to walk on it! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and comment!

      January 7, 2016
  20. Stunning image and what an atmosphere that poem creates! I could just curl up…

    January 7, 2016
    • I love the poem …. it calls me to action and relaxes me all at once 🙂 The picture was a snap both in the English and New English venacular!

      January 7, 2016
  21. Beautiful circle picture! I was attracted to your entry by the poem you quoted…one of my favorites! I guessed it was somewhere in New England 🙂
    Last spring I had the opportunity to visit the house in which Frost lived and penned that poem (in Vermont). I saw the original draft in his own handwriting. It was a thrill for me!

    January 7, 2016
    • Oh I HAVE to visit that house … thank you for the tip. And thank you for dropping by and taking the time to comment 🙂 I’ll take some time looking at your work in return 🙂

      January 7, 2016
  22. Looks lovely, you serial relocator you……!

    January 7, 2016
    • Not permanently just for a while … France is still home, I still have my appartement and the wreck in Marcoles. It’s just that now I get to live with my husband for the first time in our married lives and clear up the mess left by his femme-ex! Wish me luck 😉

      January 7, 2016
      • Ooooh that sounds like fun!
        Nothing like clearing up the mess (practical and emotional) of someone’s ex!!

        January 7, 2016
      • He’s got such a full on job and a year after they split up he met me conveniently living 3,000 miles away and hasn’t had a moment to himself. It’s chaos but I’m up for the task (and we will need to sell it so the challenge is to get top dollar, natch!)

        January 7, 2016
  23. Seriously.. it’s great that you are spending some domestic time together.
    Enjoy it

    January 7, 2016
    • Thank you! So far so good … we seem to fit quite well together though he looks startled and mutters strangely when I move things. But I’m a girl. So I will win 😉

      January 7, 2016
      • Yes I know that syndrome
        But a girl HAS to move things. …it’s in our nature to “improve”……
        Ps Trev raising one of those eyebrows right now

        January 7, 2016
      • Two Brains raised one two coincidentally!

        January 8, 2016
  24. That is a typical pond in New England. Having grown up in Maine, I spent many an afternoon skating on ponds such as that one. I was planning on doing a post soon about where I grew up, and I will include some pictures of Upper Range Pond where I lived for many years. Pan is right, the pond in Willington is a nice respite from driving all day, and Vinny has had many adventures there as well. If you haven’t been already, do go to Faneuil Hall and surrounding areas as they reflect the colonial times of this country, and they offer many delightful restaurants and other sights that can only be found in New England.

    January 8, 2016
    • I’ve only been here 10 days so still finding my New English feet …. The countryside is lovely and I’m planning on doing and seeing as much as possible in the coming months. My cousin runs boys camps in Maine in summer … History is certainly something I always try to get to grips with because it reveals so much about the present …. I have added Faneuil Hall to my list. The Bean is very thrilled to be here and will be writing about her aeroplane journey soon ….

      January 8, 2016
  25. Ahhhh my friend. now you are in the land of Oz….glad to see you have jumped the big pond and come to play on my side of the world…..well at least on the East side of it…LOL beautiful pictures and poem…..enjoy you honeymoon!!….kat

    January 8, 2016
    • Thank you Kat …. much to do, much to see but WITH my husband is very good indeed. More on the journey soon – at the moment I am still finding my New England feet which feels far more foreign than France ever did mysteriously!

      January 8, 2016
      • funny what Oz can make you feel…after all you are in the land of magic….kat…..

        January 8, 2016
      • Well I’m planning some serious stalking of my magical bloggable friends while I’m here so watch out I might just follow the yellow brick road and come a-knocking 🙂

        January 8, 2016
      • The tea kettle will be on……kat

        January 8, 2016
      • Tea calls me far …

        January 8, 2016
      • I have doin dandelion and pumpkin spice……can’t get enough of them….

        January 9, 2016
      • Oooh – that sounds delicious!

        January 9, 2016
  26. So lovely and almost surreal, Osyth…captivating clicks 🙂

    January 8, 2016
    • Thank you! So glad you approve 🙂

      January 8, 2016
  27. just beyond splendid… <3

    January 11, 2016
    • Milles mercis belle mademoiselle! xx

      January 11, 2016
  28. peace can be overwhelming and quite powerful.

    January 15, 2016
    • It’s what we mostly aspire to and strive for but you are right, when it we find it, we can feel submerged, surrounded and engulfed in a way that takes some adjusting. Nice comment – thank you for taking the time to share it 🙂

      January 15, 2016
  29. I never sound that trying to be profound. The two or three paragraphs in front of that sentence are missing.😊

    January 15, 2016
  30. I had no idea where to guess other than it was north of Houston! The light suggested somewhere in the North East but whatever it is beautiful. I love to look at pictures of cold places but my low blood pressure makes it miserable for me. Have fun!

    January 23, 2016
    • Yup – a teeny bit north of Houston 😀 It’s pretty pretty but the best thing is I get to LIVE with my husband for the ffirst time in our married lives 🙂

      January 23, 2016
      • Wow – that’s kind of a plus! You can snuggle up together in this terrible storm. 😉

        January 23, 2016
      • Except he’s in Chile for a week – but I have The Bean, The default Bean who has been my hot water bottle in France for over two years …. she’s happy to resume the position!

        January 23, 2016
      • Chile – nice at this time of year! I sometimes feel trapped with three cats and a husband in the bed. 🙂

        January 23, 2016
      • Bastard was supposed to be taking me and then decided it was too early for The Bean (suddenly the dog is his best friend) … I’m going later this year or so I’m told and I am happy with this idea. Cat Water Bottles – I like this concept … copyright it immediately 🙂

        January 23, 2016
      • You will love Chile. My husband has traveled around Latin America and I finally got to go to Peru with him.

        January 23, 2016
  31. You take really lovely photos. I think being in that natural scene would make every person instantly beautiful. So glad you are there and that you’ve chosen to share this. xo

    January 27, 2016
    • I call my own brand of photography ‘myopic point and shoot’ …. it’s very good when it works! By the way, a sense of humour is a gift and one that should therefore be celebrated 🙂

      January 27, 2016
      • I think we have the same photography style. I once took photos at a marina in blinding summer sunlight and was surprised that the camera figured out what I was trying to accomplish. x

        January 27, 2016
      • Perhaps we should write a book … ‘Myopic photography for the laughs (and occasional if not intentional win)’ x

        January 27, 2016
      • Sounds like a plan. xo

        January 27, 2016
  32. I am not sure if I commented the first time you posted this, Fiona. <3
    I love this Robert Frost poem and your beautiful, shimmering frozen water photo suits it very well, dear. 🙂

    February 10, 2017
    • Thank you dear Robin …. I love Frost and he seemed appropriate to the picture … those frozen vernal ponds absolutely captivate me!

      February 10, 2017

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