Lessons from Dr. Seuss

Posted by on Mar 23, 2012

It’s funny how I live my life traveling, and yet am forever looking to get away. I am currently writing from one such getaway: a personal writing retreat at the Oregon coast. For two nights I am staying at a “book lovers B&B”, a 100 year old house in a room overlooking the ocean. No internet.  No telephones or even clocks in the room.

View from my room, Sylvia Beach Hotel

This morning I woke up and wrote my first poem in a long while, What I Most Want to Tell You. After a lovely Dutch baby breakfast and homemade pastries and tea with fellow B&B guests, I took a walk on the beach. A line from the song “Blessings” by Dar Williams ran through my head. “And she gave me sticks and rocks and stars and all that I could hold…” just as I, too, collected rocks and stones and feathers along the beach.

                         Nature’s Treasures                                                                                     Baby Jellyfish

When I arrived I first arrived, however, I was immediately disappointed.  At the Sylvia Beach Hotel, each room is themed for a different author.  I got the key to my room, and began exploring the other open rooms in the hotel…


   Rooms from left to Right:  Sylvia Plath Room,  Jane Austen Room,  Shakespeare Room, Amy Tan Room                                                                                             

Pretty nice, right?  They were all so lovely, and sophisticated…  Then, there was my room:

The Dr. Seuss Room

“Man!  They gave me the kids room!” I thought. I suddenly felt like I was just told I had to sit at the kids table at Thanksgiving. I wanted to switch rooms but the yogi in me wouldn’t let me. Plus I was too embarrassed to ask.

I decided to table making any decisions and jump on my bike. The sun was starting to set and I promised myself I would go for a ride. I made it to the lighthouse, stunning Oregon coastline accompanying me the whole way.


I didn’t stay long and made it back to town just as it was turning dark. I stopped at a pizza place and ordered soup, pizza, and a root beer. Root beer? I don’t think I had ordered a root beer since I was eight. Probably about the last time I had read Dr. Seuss, I thought.

It was still early when I got back to my room and I decided to embrace the Dr. Seuss-y-ness. It was cute after all. And the 90 year old lady who stayed there and wrote in the guest book didn’t seem to have a problem staying in the kids room. So why should I? I read some Dr. Seuss books, tried on the hats in the room, and even took a bubble bath (complete with a santa beard, just like I did when I was a kid). After my bath I fell asleep with a smile, all cozy in my Dr. Seuss bed. It was early but I didn’t mind . The next morning all I could do was laugh when I saw myself in the mirror saw that I actually started to LOOK like a Dr. Seuss character!

Dr. Suess’s newest character, Pamtopia


When I think back on my stay now at the Sylvia Beach Hotel, I am filled with such warmth and gratitude, and a happy nostalgia…a far cry from my feelings when I first arrived.


Have you ever found yourself resisting a particular situation, only to realize how it was perfect for you?  What would happen if the next time you opted to surrender and explore instead of resist? You might be laughing just like I was – at myself- and be glad that you did.

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