Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lessons From a Hat.

A person wears many hats over a lifetime. But what about our favorites?
I had a great hat.  For three seasons each year, I would wear this hat.  It was warm and made of soft fleece.  At first autumn chill, the hat would come out of dormancy.  Always clean and black as a starless night.  It didn't seem to mind being shoved into a backpack, purse, suitcase, bike basket or pocket.  It would shake out fresh and new every time.  For years, I took it for granted. 
 After all, it's just a hat.

I bought this hat dirt cheap at an REI special sale.  It was a good deal and of good quality.  I didn't know that it would provide so much comfort.  How could anyone put a price on that?

So, the adventures with the hat began and I wore it with pride because it seemed to emulate my personality.  As it began to lose it's shape with years and untold amount of hairstyle changes, it took on a unique look.  The front had to be rolled up or it would cover my eyes.  It reminded me of the old flapper hats from the '20s. Still, I fondly considered it charmingly individualistic.  Perhaps somewhat out of style, but that's my style.  Like me, it seemed to appreciate simple things, but longed for adventure.

The majority of body heat loss occurs from the head and hands. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I never bonded with hand coverings. I have lost mittens and gloves too soon for any bonding process.
I could trust my hat to provide warmth to head and ears. Together, the hat and I would work our way through life's up and downs, disappointments, joys, holidays, travel, frustrations, revelations, bad hair days and more.  These were the shared times with my trusted friend, the hat. 
A hat close to the head. A subliminal message from the inanimate world.  "I'm always here for you. When you need me."  Only I didn't receive the message until the hat was gone. 

It was a somewhat mild mid-winter day.  While on a routine walk with the dog, I inadvertently stuffed the treasured hat in my pocket. I paused and noticed a lady runner passing by going the opposite direction and then noticed the hat was gone. I immediately started back to retrace my steps.  No hat.  Did the runner pick it up?
Previously, I had had a few near miss losses with the hat; but I knew inside this time was permanent.
My head started to get cold and my sentimental eyes began to tear up.  Proving once again, "nothing good is gonna last forever."  I put a pathetic, pleading note near the site the next day, knowing perfectly well no one would call . Would you after a score like that?
I allowed myself a day of sadness before coming back to reality.  Yes, that was a great hat.  But that's all it was.  I have a new hat now.  This one I'll be more careful with .  This hat will stay a hat, not a comforting friend that travels through time.  It's not my identity.  I won't feel as though  I lost a limb if it gets lost.  It's pretty cool though! 

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