Musings on My Hometown


Kate Wolffe, Feature Editor

I love my city.

As a kid, I loved it because of the kid’s section at the library. Because of the park, and the warm weather. The things that made Orinda great were all of the simple, little things that were monumentally important to a little girl. I loved watching movies at the green and pink theater and going to the farmers’ market with my mother, sampling the peaches and nectarines until my face and hands were sticky and stained with juice and my stomach was fit to burst. I took advantage of the rec programs offered: I spent my weekends playing soccer, basketball, tee-ball, and my summers swimming and going to countless camps.

In middle school I forgot about my love for my city, my hometown. I got swept up in the commotion of being a preteen, caught in the whirlwind of agonized complaints about “Borinda” and questions of  “why anyone would choose to live here…,” the grumblings of kids who didn’t know how truly fortunate they were. I lusted for the hustle and bustle of New York City, London, Paris; craved the exoticism of Hawaii, New Zealand, Costa Rica. I wanted the exact opposite of Orinda, which I perceived to be a town where everyone was the same, where people were judged harshly, or completely ignored, for being individuals.

I was fixated on the idea of the “Orinda Bubble,” where everyone knows one another and no one would ever dare to step outside the bounds of what is normal, which I saw as the epitome of my small city. I was convinced that no one knew or cared to know about what was going on outside of  our 12.7 square miles.

I got caught up in hate for my secluded and safe town, not stopping to notice the fact that I could easily and safely walk from the library to the bank to Starbucks at 8 o’clock at night, and not have to worry about being hassled, or worse. My dreams were of leaving the little city, getting out as soon as possible into the great unknown and learning things I thought I could never learn at OIS or Miramonte, top-notch institutions.

I still do dream of  these things, and I know that soon enough I will venture out of my small town into the real world, but it will be with a healthy respect for the place that I grew up in. As I drive through the streets tree-lined streets I once walked on, biked on,  I realize that in many ways, this city raised me. It has taught me the value of hard-work, instilled in me a healthy set of morals, and provided me with so many opportunities it’s hard to wrap my head around them all.

So while I know that I will move on, I will visit and recall Orinda often, because I really do love my city.