When my older brothers and sisters left the house for college or after marriage, my mom and dad were left with my little brother and me. My dad had always wanted a camper, so he purchased a Winnebago and off we went. Glacier National Park. Yellowstone. Texas.
I remember somewhere in Montana, Dad wanting to visit a ghost town. It was off the beaten path . . . literally. Gravel road. Big rocks of gravel. We never made it. Never saw the ghost town.
Three, yes, three blown tires later, Mom and Dad and my little brother got a ride into town to get the tires repaired. Don’t know if I was elected or if I volunteered, but I stayed back with the trailer on the side of the road and waited. Kind-hearted folks stopped and offered me a soda, a cookie or two, lemonade. Not to accept anything from a stranger I was taught, so I thanked them and waited. And watched. And listened. Noticed a thing or two. Didn’t mind it, really. Not at all. Eventually Mom and Dad and my little brother came back and off we went again.
We’d travel miles upon miles and as I sat in the back seat, usually behind my mom, I’d stare out at The World Through A Window. I was amazed at how it changed. Rugged, gray mountains. Farm land dotted with cows or horses or sometimes, goats. Prairies of wheat fields. Or prairies of nothing. Sometimes lush with the green of trees, of grass. Sometimes brown with sand. Hilly or flat. It changed.
I’d listen to the various regional accents. Southern or Western twang. The nasal and elongated o’s of the Midwest. How words changed and sometimes the meanings along with the words. I loved it.
I didn’t sleep when we traveled, afraid I’d miss too much. I hated driving at night because I couldn’t see, couldn’t watch.
It really was watching The World Through A Window.
As I got older, and as Kim and I had our own children, we’d travel. I think memories were, and are, made from those trips. Good memories. Lasting memories.
But . . .
I think it is one thing to watch The World Through A Window, one thing to listen, and notice, and be observant of The World Through A Window, and quite another to actually live . . . really live In The World. To fully experience it. To take part in it. To be a part of it. To give and to accept . . . to be a member of The World in which we live.
To watch, to observe and to notice The World is only living half of one’s life. I believe one must do more. I believe one must be fully, and completely, invested in The World. Experience The World. To be embrace both the joy and the sorrow, because without sorrow, we won’t know the joy. To embrace both the success and the disappointment, because without the disappointment, we won’t know the success. To embrace both the triumph and the failure, because without experiencing failure, we will never know triumph.
We must do much more than watch The World Through A Window. Much more. We must go outside that window and live, truly live, in The World. All of it. All of it. Yes, really, all of it. Something to think about . . .
Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!
This is beautifully written - the writing of a craftsman - but also of someone really able to reflect on the experience of a child! Riveting! Exactly what I expected of a man whose stated he has more and more to learn !ReplyDelete
John, thank you for your comment and for taking the time to read it. It means a lot to me. Take care, JoeReplyDelete