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Nourishing Mother

The three of us went to Kenyon for a wedding a couple of weeks ago.   The morning after the wedding, we were up early - of course - and on the hunt for breakfast - of course.  The inn where we stayed did not serve anything until 10 or 11... so we put Baby in the stroller and began our trek around Gambier, Ohio to find nourishment.  The local coffee shop was closed; no students yet, so no coffee on weekends.  The Deli was closed.  The Market was closed.  The bookstore looked so different from when we were there as students that my husband and I assumed we would  not find any bagels in there either.

We went back to the lobby of the inn to re-group.
A man sitting there with his coffee and newspaper mentioned that his daughter had told him that he would be able to find bagels at the bookstore.  We explained that, although you could - and we did - get bagels at the bookstore a long time ago, we just could not see how it was possible in the newly remodeled version.  Soon enough we found ourselves explaining that we had graduated from Kenyon ten years ago, and the man found himself explaining that his daughter was about to start her first year.  She was there for a pre-orientation week for writers.  He told us how she had applied early-decision, and that she had been accepted.  He described - with admiration - of course - the stained glass windows that illustrate great works of literature in Peirce's Great Hall.  

We crossed paths again in the parking lot of the inn not much later that morning.  He had a bagel in hand, from the bookstore no less, and his wife was with him in her Kenyon fleece vest.  After formally introducing ourselves to each other, they went on their way, and we went on ours.  

A great deal has changed since I was a student at Kenyon.   The little house with the dance studio sits on top of a hill overlooking an enormous, new athletic center at the bottom of the hill, where there are multiple dance studios (presumably with better floors and fewer spiders).  The bookstore moved its bagels.  My boyfriend from my sophomore year became the man I married four years ago.  Baby.  

After we got our bagels from the bookstore, we walked to the Gates of Hell, propped up the camera, and stood on Middle Path for our (first?) family portrait at Kenyon.  When I looked at the picture as we walked back to the inn, it hit me - all of it - all fourteen years leading to standing there with my husband and Baby - and my eyes filled with tears.  That Kenyon heart sure beats strong.

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