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Harmony Found in the Looking Glass

Posted by NancyWilliams on January 5, 2011

Okay, for those out there who have heard me talk about the hats we wear, and for those of you who see me wearing one around town, you may not be surprised to hear: I have a new hat. Made some of you shake your head with a “There she goes again” chuckle, didn’t I? The rest of you may be muttering, “So what?!” Well, before you dismiss my story, let me share a little about the newest edition to my collection.

I was minding my own business on a recent Saturday afternoon, out and about with my best friend (also known as my husband). We were meandering around some antique shops, enjoying a perfect spring day, when we stepped across the threshold of a quaint little shop into what felt like someone’s closet. I quickly found myself surrounded by a wonderful assortment of hats reflective of the finest millinery of years past.

Before I knew it, my curiosity overruled my practicality: I had to check them out. Not that I wanted or needed to buy one, of course. I just wanted to look. “I’ll just be a minute,” I explained. Well, part of the reason my husband and I will celebrate 31 years of marriage next month is because he has learned a valuable truth: there’s a time to speak and a time to keep silent. He decided this was a time to keep silent, so he smiled and stepped aside while I examined the treasures I’d found. My imagination soared as questions began to flood my mind. I wonder who originally owned this fine collection. How did she acquire such a wonderful variety? Where did she wear them? Why would she want to get rid of them? And the important question of the moment: how would they look on me?!

Then it caught my eye. Oh, my! There, carefully positioned atop a mannequin was a feathered creation, with an attitude all its own. Black and grey pheasant feathers wrapped themselves tightly around a finely crafted headpiece. Soft. Subtle. Quiet. Gentle. Then, in a celebration of creativity, a cluster of black and white feathers exploded from one side. A juxtaposition of character: exuberant, yet balanced. It made me smile. It made me laugh. It made me think of the roaring 20’s. The shop owners were hopeful and my husband…well, he just shook his head in amusement as I announced, “I’ll just try it on for fun.”

One look in the mirror and the doors of imagination flung open wide. I liked the hat. I really liked it. Not so much because it was a nice hat – which it was – and not because it was something I could use (although I did find myself wondering about that). I didn’t know in that moment what I would do with it, but I saw something more than a festive hat as I stood before the looking glass. Upon first glance, I saw something to bring laughter to an often-serious world. I began to plan when and where I would wear it, to bring some levity to my life and those around me. Yet, as I continued to look at the image in the mirror, I found a vivid example of design elements for our lives. We need a place for creativity, to reach out with a spirit of excitement and originality, to break out of the mold of tradition and experience life to the fullest. Life can too easily become so structured, there’s little opportunity for that freedom of expression and enjoyment. Yet, there’s also a time and a need to establish a sense of direction with form and reason, and to create a spirit of order. When these perspectives weave together in a balanced manner, our lives become the creation our designer intended. True harmony – style at its best.

I left the store that afternoon with wonderful treasures: a new hat, an experience to savor, and a reminder of the importance of creating balance in life. Oh, and I found one more thing – a word of encouragement to pass along. Keep your eyes open: there may be a hat out there just waiting for you!

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