Like much of rural Vermont, our farm stays about ten degrees cooler than downtown Brattleboro, Vermont, which challenges anyone living in our area to think about what is important to them about their life? The snowfall has been infrequent, but once it starts, shoveling ourselves out three or four feet later is a challenge. Snowshoeing isn’t easy either, but the quiet of the woods is deafening. No birds screeching their pleasures, or soaring among the snow-laden trees or above in the sky.
Heavy-footed, I move forward. Chocolat, head-bent, is trailing in my footsteps. Her instinct to charge ahead dampened by her realization of struggling each step to gain momentum. My thoughts wander to what is important to me, and that is the quality by which I am surrounded.
Very few of us stay in our original area — for whatever reason, we move. Bill and I have relocated and found a new home, a new abode, a new town. And that is true for most people, as well as for those that choose to become an Innkeeper.
Tired of what it was we lived with, seeking new involvements for ourselves, while remaining successfully employed, we thought to create new ways to bring meaning to our existence. Excitement soars, we have new and innovating ideas, and new independence in creating our new milieu. But what happens after the routine sets in, what happens as years slice away our enthusiasms and we are just us again — same values, same personal patterns of behavior and same coping styles.
What I see, looking in as an outsider, is that guests can’t appreciate an innkeeper’s lack of motivation to make changes in décor, amenities or food. They come to you as guests, oblivious of your inner struggle to feel alive, appreciated, one with your surroundings, grateful or not, for all that is in your life. These are personal values and embracing them, honoring their uniqueness is what makes you that special human being; radiant in being alive and giving richly to anyone that you come in contact with.
How do you maintain that equilibrium as an innkeeper? By knowing what you need and want. By honoring in your work, and at home, your instinctual appreciation of your inner values and, of course, by living them. There is your energy, your vision, at work or in those spare hours of leisure.
Well, morning is just around the corner, our path in the woods is well defined and Chocolat races ahead of me, some invisible scent leading her forth.