My flip flops slapped my dirty feet as I followed my mother through the fabric store. A frequent stop in my little girl years, the fabric store gave me mixed feelings. I would rather be home riding my Big Wheel in the driveway, of course, but I did enjoy poring over the thick and heavy pattern books with her to see what she would make next. As long as the poring didn't last too long.
I remember the sound of the fabric bolt thumping the cutting table as the sales lady measured the yards, followed by the sound of sharp scissors snipping the fabric off. Back at home, the whir of the sewing machine down the hall meant Mom was bent over her latest project, a shorts set for me or a dress for my sister. I would watch her for a while, poke the squishy red tomato-shaped pin cushion, and then skip off to play with my dolls.
But before she would even turn her sewing machine on, she would pull the crinkly, noisy, translucent pattern paper out of the package, lay it out on the fabric, cut it carefully, and then pin it to the pieces. As she did so, she explained what the pattern was. Without it, the skirt wouldn't hang right or the shorts wouldn't fit. The whole project would be a big waste of time and money.
I learned then that pattern is very important in sewing. I know now that pattern is very important in life.
Patterns help us make sense of life. There's a pattern to every day: morning, noon, night, morning again.
To every season: winter, spring, summer, fall, winter again.
To every life: birth, growth, death.
Patterns create structure in daily life and in design. We need patterns to build a house, write a poem, solve an equation.
Patterns can sometimes feel and be restrictive, but without pattern, there would be no order.
There's a comfort in pattern, too, because it's predictable. We know what to expect. We can count on it. We can use it as a base and then create our own variations, as in a recipe we make or a song we sing.
Sometimes we don't see the patterns in our lives, but often they are right in front of our eyes. I didn't notice them much until someone I love taught me to look for them.
There's beauty in pattern. It's no accident that nature is filled with it. How many patterns do you see in this photo? Don't forget the butterfly.
These photos of patterns I've noticed remind me of moments when I paused and enjoyed where I was, what I was doing, and who I was with. They help me appreciate the beauty of patterns.
Looking for the beauty around me and then sharing it here with you is a pattern in my life. It's one of my favorites, and it's a joy. Thank you for being here.
What are some of your favorite patterns? Do you agree that patterns are important or do you find them to be too restrictive? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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