The ones we wear, and the ones that wear us…
Every year shortly before Christmas, my chorus, The Knoxville Choral Society, collaborates with The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra for The Clayton Holiday Concerts, a Christmas tradition in our area for some 30 years and counting. Concert week is hectic, with late night rehearsals and, for those of us with day jobs, work as usual and 4 shows over 3 days that weekend. It’s a grueling, exhilarating and fun time of camaraderie for all of us.
Backstage at the venue a few years ago I took the time to pay closer attention to my surroundings than I had in the past. Among the many quirky artifacts I noticed were numerous hats hung up on a wall. I assume many of them are costume pieces from theatrical productions held there over the years, although some may be actual hats from firemen, soldiers, ball players and other professionals who wanted to leave their mark backstage.
Hats were invented to provide warmth, shelter and protection from the elements. Over time they became fashion statements as well as parts of the unform for various professions. Designs also vary from place to place and culture to culture, both for professional and decorative headwear.
In the Stone Age when I was setting up my social media profile, I gave a thumbnail sketch of my life and the roles I play…the hats I wear.
No one among us is just one thing, after all. We all wear many different hats, filling roles as life circumstances call us to do. Switching from one hat to the next sometimes feels frantic, as we shift among our various roles and responsibilities. We juggle so many activities and demands from day to day, sometimes from hour to hour. Some of the hats we wear weigh heavily on our heads, our hearts, as we face hard choices, regarding our health or the health of a loved one. Sometimes a hat may feel too tight, if we are in a job or a relationship that doesn’t fit us. Sometimes the hat just doesn’t flatter us or bring out the most attractive qualities in us. Sometimes it even feels as though, rather than us wearing the hat, the hat wears us. You get the idea.
We hope to craft for ourselves a life that works, with hats that fit, flatter and feel good. I hope the hats you wear today sit lightly and comfortably upon you, bringing out your best and giving you warmth, protection and shelter from life’s storms. (And it doesn’t hurt if they’re cute, too!)