Before I began sewing and coordinating costumes, I thought that “black” and “white” were two single colors. Anything that wasn’t black was gray, or navy, or dark purple; anything that wasn’t white was ivory, or light gray, or pale blue. But I quickly learned that you can put together a shirt that appears to be black and a skirt that appears to be black, and discover that they do not, in fact, match. You can find a hat that looks like it is pure white, and gloves that look like they’re pure white, but when worn together, they are clearly not the same color.
And so I discovered the subtle beauty of patterns that are black-on-black or white-on-white. White-on-white is especially lovely in its snowy, ethereal look. And this morning, I spied some lovely, ethereal, literally snowy white-on-white patterns on my porch.
Yesterday, when the snow had just finished falling, my porch was a pure but boring stark white. The snow was smooth and even, unstirred by wind, no rays of sun burning through the overcast clouds to create streaks of sunlight and shadow. It wasn’t ugly, but it certainly wasn’t interesting, either. It was just…there.
But today, after being buffeted by gusts of wind all day, after being visited by dozens of tiny bird feet, after the weak winter sun had finally broken through and sent its tired streaks peeking through the bars of the porch railing, it made a pattern. Because of all it had gone through, it was less perfect, but more beautiful.
And isn’t that just like all of our lives? Perfection is boring. Character and personality are created by being tossed around by circumstances. The marks caused by others touching our lives, for good or ill, change us into something unique, something interesting, something beautiful. It takes work and time to create something worthwhile. We can all become something beautiful. Something interesting. Something with character. Something white.