When friends and acquaintances learn that I am moving to Oberlin, their first question is usually “Why?”
There are so many possible answers, but my favorite is “I am meant to be there.”
It is an answer that began to form about 20 years ago, and it has developed ever since. I had never been to Oberlin until I moved to Vermilion for a job change in 1997. I am a wanderer, and I wandered to Oberlin and wandered back many times. I learned a lot about the town as I learned a lot about myself since 1997. It is not for me to justify my “why”, and it is not for me to create a “why” for others. Oberlin became for me a real town with real people who really cared. Yes, there are negatives as in any town, but this town handles the negative sin a very different way. More than that, with Oberlin College as the founding reason for the town, it is considered liberal, but in many ways, it is conservative as well. All of this is for any individual to discover for themselves. It is the right decision for me, and it took a long time for me to make the decisive move in the past year that “I am moving to Oberlin in 2017”.
Now the time is near, it is 7 days away…and yesterday I spent most of the day in Oberlin, not moving in yet, but spending the day in Oberlin. And it was pure freedom and joy…
I am already involved in attending the Oberlin Community Services monthly networking luncheon, and I was there yesterday among about two dozen local folks involved in Oberlin and Lorain County. These are the people who get things done. I love this group of people for what they do and what they represent…they represent a good part of Oberlin.
Following an impromptu meeting with someone who had a great impact on me about Oberlin…a very good impact, I was off to the local IGA. One of my reasons for moving to Oberlin is that it is a local center for food…farming, farm markets, food hubs, and more. Learning how to eat as the local seasons provide is a goal of mine that I have already begun, and it will deepen when I am in Oberlin. But, yesterday, when I left my current home, in preparation for the move, there is little to eat and I do need to eat until the move, so I took a leisurely stroll through the only grocery store in town run by a man everyone loves, Leo. I did not get to see Leo yesterday, but I did have some lovely conversations in this place of business. Found that it will be a fallback for me when I cannot get to the farmers’ market.
Then it was on to Blue Rooster Bakehouse for a few yummy things to take home for dinner as well. It was an experience to observe a local eccentric ordering their fresh baked cookies and cupcakes and brownies with such preciseness…and to watch the personable young man with his reassuring answers…total patience! Small town happenings!
I also had the occasion to visit the Gingko Gallery for a small purchase for a priceless repair on a terra cotta ceramic figurine given to me by my children in commemoration of my college graduation. After several moves, it had a few knicks and needed attention. In twelve years, it had sat in a closet, but as of this morning, it is touched up and ready to move to Oberlin. It had to be ready for it is a priceless gift that is ready to stand front and center in my home as a memory not only of my graduation but also of the thoughtfulness of my sons!
For I am moving to Oberlin, not running away from anything, but running towards who I am. I am a mother of two beautiful adult men, the mother-in-law of a beautiful red haired woman, the grandmother of two phenomenal grandsons, the sister to two very different sisters, a friend to many, a best friend to a few. Most importantly, I am my best friend, and that is why I am moving to Oberlin. I have gotten to know me more and more for the last decades through divorce, single parenthood, professional woman, and spiritual being.
Now, I am a spiritual woman playing many roles including an entrepreneur who is bringing good, faith, and hope to many; and Oberlin is home to many like me…I believe, and I will find out, that they are my tribe!