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The Path

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January 25, 2013 in Offbeat



“Go often to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


The weeds in the path to my neighbor’s house
Had almost blocked the way
And the echoing footsteps of friendly calls
Had been gone for many a day.
I cut down the weeds of my end of the path
And opened the door to my hall,
Then sat by my fire awaiting, with joy,
For my friend and neighbor to call.

But my neighbor had noticed the weed-choked path
And had labored the same as I,
Clearing the way at his end of the path
Hoping that I would pass by.
So there we sat by our firesides,
Each with an open heart,
Yet neither leaving his own domain,
Each thinking he’d done his part.

We chanced to meet in the path one day
And our handclasp was firm and true.
We talked of our boyhood, of days that were gone,
Of the things we used to do.
Now often we sit by each other’s hearth
And we travel the path each day,
For we both have found new happiness
In this friendly, neighborly way.


by Barry T. Mines, The Rotarian,
Concord, N. H., 1957

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