Most of the journey from Riga to Drusti in the car follows a good main road, but the last 16 kilometres is not a tarmac road and takes you deep into the countryside. In summer evidently it can be a very dusty road, but this is a picture of it in winter, after the snow and ice have done their work. If you thought that the shine on the road was the surface melting under the rays of the sun, you are wrong. It’s ice, just ice. As if the ice were not enough, sometimes it has become ridged and is corrugated, so the car shudders along as if it is shaking with the shivers. At other times on one side of the road the ice has become more worn down than on the other side, so the road has two different levels, and it is quite a feat to steer the car in a straight direction. It is a scary and hairy ride for anyone not used to it. Thinking about the road to Drusti I’ve kept coming back to this phrase ‘The Road Less Travelled’ which is the title of Scott Peck’s book and is taken from the Robert Frost poem which finishes with the phrase:
‘I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.’
This idea obviously resonates too with the Bible verse from Matthew’s Gospel which says that the gate is small and the road narrow ‘that leads to life, and only a few find it.’ (7:14). Whilst the accepted meaning of ‘life’ in this context is taken to be Heaven, there is a sense, as in the Frost poem, that taking the risk of faith to follow the narrow road, the road less traveled is the one which makes life rich and joyful.
There were those who suggested that it would have been better to leave the trip to Drusti until the road was better and Spring had come. That was an option, but I’d have missed so much. As the Gallery pictures show, the scenery was spectacular, and at the end of the journey the warmth and joy experienced with the people at the ‘Army’ at Drusti was lovely.
…and I don’t want to get too enthusiastic or carried away, it’s not the Latvian way, but I have been thinking in the last couple of weeks of all the people and experiences I’d have missed if I hadn’t taken this particular less travelled road and come to Latvia…