Friday, July 17, 2009

What We Leave Behind

It's surprising how many guests leave personal objects behind after staying here. This tendency presents a problem. What to do with all the junk? Combs, bathing suits, clothing, books … There have been times when guests will call, or write, and I diligently pack up the object and send it off. These days many of our guests live in Great Britain. Postal rates have greatly increased, so we have decided the guest must pay for postage but the service remains free. As we progress through life, we also leave things behind, sometimes friends, more often attitudes that have been outgrown like last year’s frilly shirt, no longer fashionable. We change jobs, cities, husbands, wives, and, in my case, countries and cultures, as well as husbands. We shed bits of ourselves each time, like the Tin Woodman, losing limbs as the enchanted axe of the Wicked Witch of the East chopped away. The Woodman was reconstructed out of tin and needed a heart. Sometimes I feel like the Tin Woodman, patched together, once a French housewife, then a DJ, now an innkeeper, but forever a writer. That essential part of me I cannot leave behind.