Monday, August 17, 2009

Sweet Sorrow at Saying Goodbye for a Year

Shakespeare wrote, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” I think this phrase from Romeo and Juliet also applies to innkeepers when it comes to saying goodbye at the end of a bed & breakfast stay, especially with repeat guests. It was hard, yesterday, to say goodbye to our Liberty Coin Suite guests. A year ago I wrote about having learned to make lavender wands. This summer the lavender was not quite ready to be transformed into wands, but that did not stop my young friend, below, from gifting me with a double lavender wand: twice as much lavender, twice as much work, twice as much love! While her parents packed the car after a tremendous one-week stay – in which they did so much and really enjoyed all that Wellfleet has to offer – Rebekah sat near the car, feeling sad, a normal reaction. I was reminded of Robert McCloskey’s picture book about a month in Maine. (He’s more well known for Make Way for Ducklings, but Time of Wonder, a slim volume published in 1958, had fabulous watercolors and won the Caldecott Award.) I love the way McCloskey described the end of a summer vacation: "A little bit sad about the place you are leaving, a little bit glad about the place you are going." McCloskey really captured the ambivalence we all feel after a great holiday. (One of the activities Rebekah enjoyed was Free Shakespeare. Her mom reported back that one actor played all the roles, in Hamlet no less.) Children help us experience life with wonder, like in the title McCloskey chose for his book, and for that, I thank you, Rebekah!