I reached the age of thirty-three and there began to fret For all around had found their hats, I didn’t have mine yet I’d tried many on for size, but none had stood the test of time I prayed to the Gods and the Universe: send me the hat that is mine! The years ticked on and still no hat, though I searched for it everywhere In my thirty-sixth year, I must admit, I was getting close to despair None my age were hatless, if I didn’t find one quick I feared my hat deficiency would make my head quite sick One day I saw a lady, carrying a case No hat upon her noggin, a smile upon her face I stared at her in wonder as she walked by happily How was it that she looked so light, so radiant and free? Excuse me Madam, I enquired, I really have to know There’s no hat upon your head, yet your face it is aglow I have failed to find the hat that fits upon my head But my face is drawn, body leaden, heart filled up with dread The woman’s eyes showed pity as she nodded at my plight She took my hand, agreed to share the secret of her light She opened up her case to show the contents locked inside I stood agog at hats amok, every colour, shape and size Mother, Grandma, daughter, artist, runner, free Engineer, deep sea diver, teacher, and keeper of bees Too many more for me to count, my head was in a spin But like a flower slowly unfurling, I felt a blossoming within Which one of these is you, I asked? Your purpose in this life? She smiled and shared her story to soothe me of my strife She too had searched for just one hat, discarded many on the way Until one day she realised: all the hats would do better to stay She did not need to find one hat, or even wear a hat at all There were many hats that fit her, and many too big or too small But a hat should not define her, or show others where she fit She kept the small ones for nostalgia, grew into hats too big Each hat she had was part of her, yet she was also more than that A person’s soul is not defined by the confines of a hat She would collect them all until the day when she could grow no more Let them go with a gentle sigh when Death greeted her at his door Now I follow her example, this complex being of light and love Accepting and collecting all of my hats, placing none below or above Resisting the call of the world outside to define me by this and that Accepting my soul cannot be defined by the confines of a hat.
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