Years ago I wanted to tell you a story.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t blogging at that time. Taking a break, as you’d have it.
So the story was swallowed away into memory.
Today I am going to share the story of the green hat from years ago.
I once knit a green-olive hat. The locals here would call it a “chook”. A winter hat to keep the ears warm when temperatures dived below the 20’s. It was a beloved hat. A hand knit, beloved hat.
One day Barry and I attended a hockey game at Michigan Tech University. We cheered for the Huskies! We probably took photos. We left and drove home.
I suddenly realized my hat was missing.
It had disappeared at the hockey game.
Such grief! Such wailing! (OK, maybe quiet sniffling.)
I returned to Michigan Tech and beseeched them. Had they found a green-olive hat in the stands? Had anyone turned over a lost green hat?
No, they said, sadly. No, they said, shaking their hockey-loving heads. No, they said. We did not find a green hat.
I returned home to sniffle some more.
Let’s fast forward past the sniffles.
There is a store in Houghton, Michigan, called Surplus Outlet. It features all sorts of random items like hats. Sports paraphernalia. Shoes. Jackets. Key chains. I don’t know–oddities that a person might want to buy.
Barry and I went in there one freezing January night. Oh! There on the shelf, dangling in front of me, lingered a green hat. A hat for my soul! I swooned. The Universe was providing a gesture of love in return for the hat it stole from me.
I did not have any coat that matched said green color. Another “safer” black and white hat beckoned my sensibilities. Barry voted for the black and white hat that matched my current coat.
I paid for the black and white hat and walked away, a rational human being. A human being with a rational hat.
But it was not the green soul hat. I left the green soul hat hanging on the hook, dangling in front of my spirit, and chose rationality instead.
Of course, one cannot forget a soul hat. Could you? It lingered at the edge of dreams, calling me. It begged, “Why did you forsake me?” It finally propelled me back to the Surplus Outlet store to purchase its fine dream-like greenness.
But by the time I returned–it was no longer there. It no longer preened gaily on the shelf. Perhaps someone else bought its beauty. Perhaps someone else wore its spirit. I was out of luck, it seemed.
The kind sales clerk said, “Well, if you like–our old unsold stock goes down the basement. You could look down there. Perhaps your green hat is there.”
So I hurried down the stairs to the basement and dug through box after box of random items, begging the Universe. Please, green hat! Please appear! Show yourself to me and I shall love you forever!
And lo and behold! At the bottom of the last box sat the soul-beautiful green hat. At half price. I marched upstairs like a queen, like the winner of a marathon, like the most grateful person on the planet and purchased the green hat. It was mine! Forevermore! Amen.
OK, if you’ve survived this green hat story, I am going to tell you another tale.
About this week. About two days ago. In which I was up in Houghton on a magical morning–not your usual dull or boring morning, mind you. I was walking along the canal and listening to my deepest self share deep meaning about this and that. I meandered into the Houghton County Library and discovered a book which further elaborated on the deep meaning theme. (Don’t you love days like that? When your thoughts and feelings are confirmed in physical reality? When life blends together like a delightful soup filled with nourishing broth and vegetables?)
I suddenly remembered that I needed a pair of tennis shoes. Apparently they are called “sneakers” if you’re not in the Midwest, and if you’re not born during a certain age. You know, walking shoes. Running shoes. Shoes to wear when you’re meandering along a canal, listening to your deepest inner voice.
My inner voice whispered, “Imagine your perfect pair of shoes. Don’t image what they look like. Imagine how good you’ll feel wearing them.”
So I imagined a pair of red tennis shoes (sneakers). Red, mind you. Red, the color of life and love and joy. I imagined my heart beating in absolute delight at the redness of these particular sneakers.
Then I walked up to the Surplus Outlet store–yes, the same place where the magical hat appeared years ago–and headed for the shoes.
There! Sitting so prettily, so boldly, in red-maroon vibrancy–sang a pair of red shoes. With just as much spirit as the green hat. With just as much soul, they announced themselves and begged me to try them on.
So I did.
And fell in love with them.
There are, dear reader, soul clothes waiting for you at stores. Clothes that sing to your spirit. Clothes that dance in your dreams. The more rational of us will not find them. They will find rational clothes. Rational hats, rational shoes.
I beg you not to settle for rational. Keep looking for soul clothes. They’re out there. Calling to you. I beg you to heed this inner call.
Please tell me you’ve found soul clothes during your time on this planet. At least one magic hat or shoes or gloves or dress. (And if you haven’t–start your sacred quest tomorrow–at the latest!)