“I learn by going where I have to go.”
—Theodore Roethke, 20th Century American Poet
As a child, my wife Wendy took many road trips with her family. Back then, maps and triptiks by the Automobile Club were the main ways of getting from one point to the next. For the adventurous, a few side trips could be built in.
Wendy’s family was different. They’d climb into their green country squire station wagon with rear facing seats for the kids. Each person was given a chance to tell Dad which way to turn between driving segments. Keeping their eyes open for new sites to explore or new places to grab a bite helped them learn about their world by going.
To what degree have you come to realize the value of experiential learning? How has learning by going carved the grooves in your record of life?
Where and how have you learned where you have to go by going? Feel free to reply to this post with your own examples or stories of getting out there.
Went Camping on our Honeymoon.
I know some people will find the idea crass and unromantic. But…
What if your parent, hers, and her brother and sister did not want the two of you to get married?
What if the parents could afford to help us but never offered?
And what if the parents tried to get one or both of us not to go through with the wedding up to the moment the ceremony started?
And while both of us worked, it was all we could afford and not go broke?
The first home we set up was a musty old canvas tent that felt like a three or four-person job. But we got it and the camp set up. And before our misadventurous camping adventure was over, we were like a matched team in the traces pulling a dray.
Three months later, I was in the service, and in the next thirty-one years, we set up home eleven more times before Elaine passed. And I would argue that setting up that tent and camp, while quicker, was harder than the next eleven times. Because we became a team; and knew we could depend on each other.
And while she has been gone these past seventeen years, I still miss her. Elaine was the first person I loved more than myself until our children came into this world.