Oberlin Waters

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: January 22, 2017

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Submitted: January 22, 2017



"I don't know how I feel right now. I feel alone, I feel sad. It bothers me how much I miss you. Your eyes were bluer than the water I look at now, and your hair was as red as the sun. But now it's dark, and I must say farewell my love. As I lay here, I question everything. Why do the stars shine so bright when this terrible tragedy has happened? How can the stars shine so bright, when so many try and dim their light." -The Oberlin Journals, December 20th, 2013

I let out a puff of air from my dry lungs, drawing in the cold winter air; I looked up and saw the stars, my head didn't hurt and my lungs felt stronger than usual. Between hospital trips and him, I was a mess. But now, I felt free. Freer than I have ever felt. This place, this beautiful work of nature had calmed my weary soul. I found it when I was six, and ever since then I'd come back every year, and stuff a journal in a hollowed out tree, Summer or winter. I'd come down to the waters and just relax. When life got stressful, I'd ask to go to Oberlin to see my Aunt Shirley and Uncle Don, so I could find my peace of mind.

As I let my gaze take in the destitute land. I set my pen and notebook back in my bag. I glanced at the water, before deciding to do something dumb. For once in my life, I let go, I decided I wanted to feel something. I wanted to feel the pain, and I did. I punched, screamed, cried, and so much more. Writing your feelings down can only do so much, sometimes you have to let the emotions flow out of you. I felt angry, sad, but calm. Letting out a sob, I fell apart. Knowing I'd soon have to get up and put myself back together.

One last glance, I thought. Turning around I smiled, remembering swimming in the blue waters with my Aunt Donna in the summer of 2006, and how the hill by the creek was Donna's jumping point because the water was deepest there. I remembered the summer, how the animals would crawl everywhere and time would irrevocably slow down. I looked at where I wrote my first novel in fifth grade. "Fugitives" and looking at it now, I realize it was absolutely horrible. But ten-year-old me thought it was a stroke of pure genius. How in fall the leaves would take flight from the trees and the twins and my brothers would jump in the piles and play hide and seek. I thought about the restless winter days when Aunt Shirley still had her horses and Donna and I would go for rides in the snow. The freezing air always made me feel alive. This place was my Neverland, my Narnia. I t was almost like my home. Nothing was better than Oberlin in the summer, except for Oberlin in the fall, it held a certain brightness to the city that I couldn't find anywhere else.

Over the summer, I went back to Oberlin. My Aunt Shirley had passed away January 1st, 2014. But because of school, I wasn't able to attend her funeral. I ran to the water, passing the grain fields, the trees, the animals. Nothing else mattered. I ran like I have never run in my life. Sweat peeling down my forehead. My lungs cried for air, but I couldn't stop until I reached the water. There I stood, taking in the beautiful surroundings. The sky was still blue, and the grass was still green. Only one thing had changed, the one thing that made me come back. My beautiful tree, the leaves hadn't yet returned and it was long past spring. I guess when my Aunt Shirley died, my tree died with her.

Reaching into the now hollow tree, I pulled out my Oberlin Journals and a bag of photos. Each photo brought back a million memories. Every time I visited, I'd always bring the highlights of my year with me and place them in this bag. When my mom left, when I started raising my brothers, how Dillian wrote a poem when he lost his tooth, how I lost my dad to drugs. All my memories in one tree. As John Green said, "that's the thing about pain. It demands to be felt." As much as I wished those terrible things didn't happen, they did and I had to live with them. I had to keep fighting, because who would keep this place alive if I wasn't? This place was full of history and beauty, someone has to continue it.

"As I sit here and write I can't help but notice the way the birds chirp, the way the clouds roll along. Everything happens for a reason, and it took me a while to realize that: Life will always throw challenges at you, it's just that some people get more challenges than others." - Oberlin Journals, July 13th, 2014


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