Out of the Woods
This caution is older than the fairy tales, originally being an old Roman expression. The Roman legions marched north out of Italy into the great dark German and French forests. In those dimly lit, shadowy forests they fought barbarian Huns and Goths tribesman in fierce hand-to-hand combat. Once the barbarians fled defeated, the Roman legionnaires began happily marching out of the dark forests for the safety of their camps. Aware of the Hun’s ingeniously skill at surprise attacks, their officers warned, “We’re not out of the woods yet.”
None of us frets over being attacked today by barbarian Huns, yet none of us are truly home safe. When the traffic light turns green, carefully look left and right before entering the intersection, hearing the echo of that old Roman caution. Be vigilant, for there are an increasing number of drivers who don’t stop for yellow-turning-red or even—sadly—for solid red lights!
Regardless if it is your health, job, personal safety or the economy, none of us is out of the woods yet. Like Roman legionaries of old, be cautious when entering intersections or dipping into your savings for a needless luxury, and practice a forward thinking in life so as to avoid danger and harm.
However, also be cautious about being cautious! Avoid like the plague being fearfully vigilant; practice moderation in being careful. Spice up your life with zesty risks and tangy reckless daring, otherwise continuous caution will pickpocket your life of enjoyment.
In his poem Bravado, Robert Frost spoke of the need of recklessness:
Have I not walked without an upward look
of caution under the stars that very well
might not have missed me when they shot and fell?
It was a risk I had to take—and took.