Where did July go? I last posted on the 4th, and here it is almost three weeks later. I'm not even sure what exactly kept me so busy--but there were house projects, and yard projects, and an absolutely magical week at Oberlin College for the Unitarian Universalist Ohio Meadville District Summer Institute: lots of learning, laughing, good music, and good people.
Oberlin the town and Oberlin the college are both pretty amazing places. The town was founded by a couple of idealistic Presbyterians who took their not getting eaten by a bear as a sign that they had found the right place for their new intentional community, and the college was multiracial at its founding in 1830-something and was the first college to admit women a decade or so later. The place manages to be quaint and historic and progressive and funky all at the same time, with some utterly gorgeous architecture (for those of us who like Collegiate Gothic)
and fascinating plantings. The ultramodern Oberlin Conservatory is hedged with carefully pruned staghorn sumac, a feature that would never have occurred to me.
This traditional-looking colonnade, part of an Italianate building
actually is home to a surprise: each column, and each face of each column, is different. Some of the carvings are totally medieval in feel
while others probably represent someone important in the history of the college. I particularly like this guy.
Oberlin is also home to a 90-acre arboretum that includes two lakes surrounded by raised gravel paths. My walking partner and I got there at what must have been the right time of day.
As if the sheer physical beauty of the place weren't enough to cap off a perfect afternoon, a cedar waxwing decided to hang out in a tree next to the trail for several minutes.
This first visit will not be my last.