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Travelling the Journey of Life

Updated on March 1, 2018
Joyette  Fabien profile image

Joyette believes that in sharing, through her Life Lessons hubs, she can empower others and assist them in making more informed decisions.

Board the Coach to Begin the Journey of Life

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I Found Myself Musing About Life

These days I find myself drawn towards young people - their energy, their passion and their love for life and I think of all the prospects which lie ahead for them as they journey through life. In middle age, I recognize so many things about youth which I had simply taken for granted.

As we journey, we learn and we grow from the experiences, the trials, the triumphs . As I ponder on life’s journey, I recall a poem which I read many years ago and which now makes so much more sense than back then when I could not truly relate to the journey which it describes. Let me share this poem with you.

The Coach of Life by Alexander Pushkin


Though often somewhat heavy-freighted,
The coach rolls at an easy pace;
And Time, the coachman, grizzly-pated,
But smart, alert---is in his place.

We board it lightly in the morning
And on our way at once proceed.
Repose and slothful comfort scorning,
We shout: "Hey, there! Get on! Full speed!"

Noon finds us done with reckless daring,
And shaken up. Now care's the rule.
Down hills, through gulleys roughly faring,
We sulk, and cry: "Hey, easy fool!"

The coach rolls on, no pitfalls dodging.
At dusk, to pains more wonted grown,
We drowse, while to the night's dark lodging
Old coachman Time drives on, drives on.

Coach of Life

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My Interpretation of the Poem.


The poem represents a metaphor of life’s journey. It presents life as a journey by coach which takes place in three stages beginning in the morning, through to noon and ending in the night. The driver of the coach is Time. The name Time connotes experience, wisdom, continuity and longevity. He is presented as being grumpy or perhaps stern in appearance (grizzly-pated) and this might also be a reference to his age and purpose. The stages of the journey are closely linked to stages in life: Morning/Youth; Noon/Middle Age; Night/Old Age.

Stanza 1 - Life and the Driver,Time


Though often somewhat heavy-freighted,
The coach rolls at an easy pace;
And Time, the coachman, grizzly-pated,
But smart, alert---is in his place.

This stanza focuses on the coach and driver. The coach often sets out with a full load of passengers (heavy freighted) and the driver is comfortable and competent at his job (the coach rolls at an easy pace). He is smart and ready for duty (smart, alert---is in his place). One can infer that he has been doing this job for a long time.

Stanza 2. - Youth/The Morning


We board it lightly in the morning
And on our way at once proceed.
Repose and slothful comfort scorning,
We shout: "Hey, there! Get on! Full speed!"

That’s where the writer begins to focus on the passengers who are embarking on this journey of life. They set out in the morning of their lives which is youth and the journey begins immediately. Youth represents a stage in life when we are carefree (We board it lightly), enthusiastic, full of vigor and vitality (Repose and slothful comfort scorning). It is a time of adventure, recklessness and risk taking ("Hey, there! Get on! Full speed!").

Stanza 3 - Middle Age/Noon


Noon finds us done with reckless daring,
And shaken up. Now care's the rule.
Down hills, through gulleys roughly faring,
We sulk, and cry: "Hey, easy fool!"

In the noontime of life, middle age, we have slowed down significantly. The vicissitudes of life have made us more sober minded, cautious and responsible (Noon finds us done with reckless daring, /And shaken up. Now care's the rule). We struggle through life’s difficulties and are now wont to complain. As opposed to youth where we shout for almost everything - in excitement, when we are having fun - here at noon ‘we sulk and cry’. We no longer want the journey to be fast paced. Oh no, just as youth yearns to grow up, so do we, in middle age, wish to slow down the ageing process so we call upon the driver/Time to slow down ("Hey, easy fool!").

Stanza 4 - Old Age/Evening/Dusk


The coach rolls on, no pitfalls dodging.
At dusk, to pains more wonted grown,
We drowse, while to the night's dark lodging
Old coachman Time drives on, drives on.

In the evening of our lives, old age, it appears that the coachman, Time is not concerned about the comfort or well-being of his passengers. He drives relentlessly on (no pitfalls dodging) as he moves towards his destination. Life/Ageing does not care whether we are happy with the changes in our health, in our bodies or in our circumstances; life just goes on. Old age therefore finds us prone to all sorts of illnesses and discomfort (At dusk, to pains more wonted grown). We are no longer energetic, but rather more inclined towards lethargy (We drowse).

But where is that destination to which we are headed? Is it death or perhaps the grave? (the night's dark lodging). It is the final destination for all of us. However, even though we, who have reached the end of our journey, must disembark there, Time, the coachman has not ended his task. His job continues, never ending because life does not cease when one person dies. No matter how dear or important that person was, life goes on (Old coachman Time drives on, drives on).

Life Teaches Valuable Lessons

Life is indeed a journey; most of us board that coach so free from troubles and care and as we proceed along, life presents countless challenges which can perhaps make us or break us. Some of us learn important lessons and we grow into stronger, better people while others emerge from their troubles disappointed, embittered and hating. Whatever our experience, we should try to end the journey better and stronger than when we began and at the end we should be able to look back and be comfortable with the way we have lived, the things we have done , the people we have helped and the love we have shared. We must all try to make our life count for something for we were not sent to this life to be just another statistic, but to impact the lives of others meaningfully.


The Journey

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Are You Making Your Life Count?

Are you, at your stage, any wiser or better than when you started the journey?

See results

Comments

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    • Joyette  Fabien profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyette Fabien 

      3 years ago from Dominica

      Thank you for your feedback, FlourishAnyway. God Bless!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 years ago from USA

      I like the metaphor and your thoughtful analysis here, Joyette.

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