Do you remember when you were young, and you wore a favorite pair of pants, or a favorite shirt, until it wore out in spots? For many children, when this would happen, and a hole would be worn in our clothing, or our favorite stuffed animal or blanket, a patch would be sewn on. To repair what had worn out or had been damaged.
Patches came in all shapes, sizes, colors and textures. With care and diligence, the patches would cover an area that was worn, that was harmed in some way. Patches, by definition, are scraps of clothing, left over and no longer having a use. Actually, patches are probably pieces from other well worn favorites.
Patches also would be put together, from dozens of our favorites, to create a patchwork quilt, all of the worn pieces that fit in no where else. But as a mosaic of color, created the most beautiful artwork there is, individual and original.
I have been thinking lately about what we do for one another in this world, to assist others and to be there for one another. It made me think of patches.
When we are hurting, and worn, and even torn a bit, we rely on those that can patch us up, sew us back together, so that we can go on, just like new.
Kind of, anyway. At least, we can go on. Wearing those favorite jeans, patched up in the areas that are worn through and faded, we feel stronger somehow. Stronger to have our favorites still with us, and having them fortified, and the loving touch of those that helped patch them close at hand.
When we are damaged, and worn, and feel like we have holes in us, through loss, or endings, or changes, we need to love, connection, care and gentle touch of the person that will secure our patches. We all have areas that need patching. All of us incur damage due to one circumstance or another. And because humans are interdependent creatures, even when we want to doubt that reality, we need to work of a good seamstress. To patch us where we are worn.
If we are lucky, in addition to having that be a person, or persons, that can patch us when we are wounded, they also have that touch, that ability, to create beautiful tapestries with those same patches; take portions of a life that are some of the favorites, and putting them together into one amazing creation.
For me, the essence of Ubuntu, I am because you are, has everything to do with how others help us, and we help them, when we, or they, are worn out and wounded. When we need to feel the love and care of another person, to patch us up and sew us back together, so that we can go on. And, so we can go on as close to our true selves as possible.
So, feel proud of your patches, even when you like to appear that you have it all together, that you are always like new. With patches, you are new, only better.
Worn in, fixed up, ready, wise, healed.