“Nothing Lost Nothing gained.” When we are little, we are happy to play Hide and Seek – the game of lost and found, when we grow up we continue to play the game, although with an added flavor of “awareness” that shows up once in a while. Farewells feel like losses, new friendships feel like gains and life goes on between the game of Hide and Seek or Lost and Found.
I rummage into my treasure chest. I find this snowman quilt. It holds memories of my time in a bitterly cold town in the middle of nowhere. The average temperature for almost eight months of the year was – 20 degree F. I wore a cap, that I had knitted for myself with the warmest, thickest, softest wool, that could be found in the store. To go out for a walk in the freezing cold was a chore in itself, wearing all the layers and waddling about. Having grown up in warmer weather, the biting cold was too much for me. To think of it, I had left my friends and warmer weather behind to come and live here in this desolate town, where I did not know anybody.
All I knew was, in three years, I could leave and not miss a thing. I looked forward to leaving, to going to another place full of sunshine and warmth of people. One day a a farmer’s wife left a bag full of vegetables outside my door, another time when I was walking around the neighborhood, a lady invited me into the warmth of her house. She shared her homemade sour cream bars and coffee with me. “Do you want to join our quilting club”, she asked. ” I have never quilted”, before I said.
“Never mind, we meet on Tuesday evenings at 6.oo PM, I will come get you” Not wanting to be rude, I said, “Yes.”
From then on, she showed up at my door every Tuesday evening. I went with her. Initially, I was content looking at the quilts being displayed by the these amazing women; who labored for 100s of hours making quilts for their loved ones, for christening, for graduation, for weddings of their grand children and their children. They called it Their labor of love. Such beautiful hand-made quilts! I felt like making one, but didn’t know where to start.
Then, at one of the meetings, it was decided that everyone would make and bring in a 10 X 10″ block of quilt, with a snow man on it. The snowman could be appliquéd, embroidered or painted on the block. This felt easy. So I spent an entire evening creating my block of appliqued snowman. My snowman was wearing a sleeping hat and sitting on a broom. I proudly took my block along.
When I showed it to the other women at the quilting club, they asked me, “Where are the other blocks? It took me a while to figure out, that everyone was supposed to have made 18 blocks of 10X10” with the same pattern on it and then exchange it with each other. That way, all the 18 women would be putting together, their very own snowman quilt. It was embarrassing! But since I had made one block, I decided to continue the journey. I sat up all week working on my 17 blocks, sure enough they were ready in a week.
AT the next meeting, it was fun exchanging the blocks of snowmen. When, I got home and arranged all the blocks together. I was amazed! The variety was interesting, a dancing snowwoman twirling around, a skinny snowman, a snowman with a huge heart and no hands, stood out among other snowmen. I was so proud of it. The next few weeks were spent chatting and putting the quilts together. As we chatted and quilted, devouring cream cheese bars, chocolate chip cookies or whatever came our way, our quilts were ready. Just like the others, I got an opportunity to showcase my quilt. Everyone applauded!
Soon, It was time to move. The women from the quilting club came to my house with little baskets of fruits, dried apple chips, homemade fruit bars and an assortment of other goodies, a day before our family was leaving town. “It is for the journey,” they said! I hugged them and let them know, that I would miss them.
We got emotional and there were tears but atleast I bid them farewell! At last! I had found my peace! As, I also quietly bid farewell to my friends and school as a fourth grader and there was Agnes smiling and waving back at me. Yes I had found the same love and affection among these women, who had invited me to quilt with them….. in a strange town in the middle of nowhere. I had finally found my peace.
I will end with these famous lines translated from the Bhagavad Gita
” What was yours that you lost and are crying about? What did you bring with you that you lost? What did you create that got destroyed? You did not bring anything, whatever you have – you took from this world, Whatever you gave – you gave from this world! You came empty handed, you will leave empty handed!
Copyright ©2015 Ish Kaur. All rights reserved