The women stacked their scraps of cloth next to the folded yards of batting on the table near the wall. I saw my dresses there—pieces of them—and wondered about the other striped and flowered samples of fabric. To whom did these fragments belong?
Sometimes I snuck under the stretched material on the large wooden frame and listened as the women stitched and knotted. They talked about their families, about local people, about their hardships, and about love. When they cried, I cried—even if I did not quite understand. It was their emotion that spoke to me. Later I would ask Mom about what I had heard, but she always said it was private, not something for me to know. I was left with just strands of stories—and feelings.
I learned a lot through the tales these women shared. Their cloth leftovers rhythmically sewn one to another helped me see the interconnectedness of life. And now I wonder, aren't we all a quilt of sorts, a patchwork of sorrows and joys? We journey through life choosing between our hopes and our fears, maneuvering between celebrations and tragedies. Ultimately, it seems that we are the quilters of our fate, and how we tie together the pieces of our story creates our unique life masterpiece.