What can you see in my hands?

Have you ever stopped to look at your hands?  Really look at them?

I see so many things when I look at my hands.

The first thing I often notice is how old they look.  I’m not THAT old.

I have lived just a little over half a century now.  These hands have lived a full life.  A life I do not take for granted.  A life well lived – most of the time.  Were there years that these hands were not put to good use?  I suppose you could say that. Years where I took my health and the ability to simply, “do things”.  Sure.

These hands have held new life both human and animal.  These hands have held the hand of someone hurting.  These hands have held the end of life both animal and human.  These hands have wiped tears both happy and sad.  These hands have touched the most beautiful and the most vile.

These hands have done the easy things and the hard things.  They have learned by “doing” alongside other hands.  The hands of my grandmother patiently teaching me to crochet and make biscuits.  The hands of my mother teaching me how to arrange flowers and then how to fold cloth diapers.  The hands of my father who taught me to change tires and pump gas.

Generations of family have taught my hands how to do those things that I now do without thinking.

I remember noticing the hands of my sweet neighbor.  He has touched me in ways I could not imagine being touched by another human besides my own family.  We met as strangers by chance.  I cannot imagine life without him now.  His hands are old, and crooked and wrinkled and scarred.  But they are also gentle and nurturing.  They are BROAD both literally and figuratively.  His hands have done all of those same things that my hands have done.  In a different time.  Overlapping, but briefly.

I’m sure his hands learned things from his ancestors as well.  In that way we are certainly all connected..

I hope one day my hands tell the stories of my life to someone else.

What stories do your hands tell?