This past week we attended the Philadelphia Flower Show. The theme was the United States National Parks adn many of the parks were represented with the outstanding features, flora, and sometimes fauna of that particular region. We noticed a preponderance of pine trees, which made the air fragrant and refreshing. Redwoods, seascapes, Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace, the Great Smokey Mountains, and much more delighted the eyes and senses, and the familiar wooden National Park signs brought into focus what a great heritage our country has in its natural features.
The show was crowded and sometimes it was difficult to see the exhibits or take photos while people stood entranced at a beautiul blooming tree or a group of tulips bursting with color. The crowd was mostly informally dressed, some with tiaras made of flowers, others casually in shorts and flip flops in response to the 70+ degree weather outside. We noticed large groups of Mennonites in their plain dress enjoying the show. And that got us thinking about how clothing is part of one’s identity, whether or not one consciously pays attention to it. People seem to dress to be comfortable when they are in informal settings, and the appropriateness of that varies with the individual. Cutoffs and sandals are not a good idea to wear to a White House reception, but a gown or tuxedo would not fit a trip to the beach. We all know this. Mostly.
The important thing is to “feel comfortable in your own skin” as the saying goes. If you are dressed right for the occasion, you can forget yourself and just enjoy the action, as these Mennonites were doing. Dressed as who they were and comfortable with it, they blended in with the rest of us, and we all looked good.