The Stories That We Create (A Letter to the Land)
Someone before my semester stuck a star on the light over my bed. I don’t know what color the star sticker is because the light, along with the walls, is painted an off white. My room has been painted many times over; so many times there is a thick coating over the star, making its presence pretty prominent. In a place like Woolman, sometimes it is hard to find evidence of prior students. No doubt at the end of our semester here, we will have to paint the walls as well, deep clean the buildings, and move out.
The star reminds me that this place is more than just ours; I think about those who came before us, and who will come after, and respect that it is theirs as much as it is ours. Woolman is a place where 50 years of passionate young people like my semester have slept, worked, and socialized. They probably felt similarly to our semester, they probably had struggles like ours, and lived like us. After Hiwot, Anna, and I leave Cabin H will continue to host such folk, and the cycle of Woolman will continue. The star will remain, and maybe the next person who will sleep in this bed will think about the preceding students, like I do.
Realizing this is the most beautiful thing I have learned from Woolman. This place is a building and thriving community of people who come and go, and create and maintain a space where students like us can come and change the atmosphere relative to our wants and needs, then leave and create the space for another group all over again. I feel sad about leaving this great school, but I am relieved to know that there will be more students feeling the same as I do right now next semester and the one after and so on. The legacy of the students lives on the stories that we will create, and maybe the stars we leave on the lights.