If I just stare at the blocks on my quilt, fuschia flowers embroidered on yellow backgrounds, the year could be 2020 or 2004. It hasn’t aged in all the time I’ve had it. Still bright and cheery. Perfect for a wedding gift. $300. I never expected anyone to buy it for me; it was just one of those extravagant aspirational things you add to a list when you’re young and greedy and careless. Clicking on items from the Dillard’s website in class when you should have been learning about insurance law instead of china patterns. I never expected to lay beneath it when I picked it out. But if I had, I would have expected it to be with him for as long as I should have lived, because when you’re young, eternity has a nice ring to it.
But here I am, staring at tulips and daisies and some other flower that looks sort of like Queen Ann’s lace. Plaids, stripes, zig zags. The couple who bought it for me, the Meyers, have both passed on. The man for whom it was intended to keep warm is married now to someone else, and has children of his own. And I am a 41-year old writer, living in a fourth floor walk-up with terribly steep stairs in Brooklyn, instead of the 24-year old law student I was then, living in a darling two-bedroom house with ever so slightly pink painted walls and cobalt blue saltillo tile in the bathroom that stayed cool even on the hottest of Tucson days.
I never planned for this life. How could I have? But somehow, the puzzle…broken apart and put back together in a new configuration…makes more sense now than it ever did then. The quilt matches my bed, a fuschia tufted piece I bought off Wayfair to take center stage in the room that would become a home. Yellow and blue curtains that diffuse the eastern morning light that sometimes comes and sometimes doesn’t but, as I’ve learned with age and patience, returns time and time again. Parquet floors that slope towards the center of the room, built so long ago that time itself has sagged the joists and nothing is quite plumb or square. A fan overhead that never makes a sound but gives just the right amount of movement. And a view of a castle-like armory, with the mysterious promise of whimsy, a whimsy matched by the fantastical flowers on my quilt intended for a sturdier life lived long ago.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.