Patterns – the stuff we’re made of

by Shannon McArthur

Patterns are the foundation for everything – MORE is easy when you have one. While a plan is handy, it’s limited and when the plan is complete, it is the pattern that will take you to the next level. How pervasive are patterns in our world? Everything is part of a pattern and is made of them too. Atoms are the smallest physical patterns we know (at least, last I heard!) and patterns are present in our actions too: how, when and what we choose every day, every moment. Life skills are the patterns kids learn from their parents. The patterns help them know what to do to stay healthy and how to behave in this world. It is the parents’ primary job, whether they realize it or not. It’d probably be a lot easier if they did. When a pattern is broken, we’re on shaky ground! Having to create a new pattern is hard but not changing can cause more havoc in our lives than accepting the challenge of making things better, even when apologies are necessary.

Patterns are also a source of beauty and pleasure. Passing down treasures and skills from generation to generation has been a pattern enjoyed world-over, and value often increases with each passing. The plaid wheelie, given to me by my mother, was my grandmother’s and the sewing skills I learned from her were the tools I used to fix the darn thing when I ruined it.

It had these tiny plastic wheels that should have been better. The bag was made of good quality material but it couldn’t resist the wear of the pavement when it tipped over and was dragged down the sidewalk for blocks. I would have stopped, changed how I was holding it, had I noticed – but I didn’t. It stayed together long enough to get me and its’ contents home but it would never be the same again. I could have just thrown it away but it was special; if there was just some way of resurrecting it…

Before long, I got to work – cut off the base, folded the bottom inside and secured it with fold-back clips. I took off the silvery fold-back parts so they wouldn’t catch on things and as they lay there waiting to be discarded, inspiration hit! They looked like little people! And so now I have a whole community on the bag that holds my drum, held safe and dry in the plaid bag I inherited from my grandmother. They hold hands in a circle and between each is a blue crystal, echoed in the flower in the middle. It seems that, together they are creating something very special!

Sometimes the pattern has to change, and then it can become even more precious. The flower in the centre is a forget-me-not. And I won’t, not ever…

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