Wednesday, April 11, 2007

These hands

My hands are 27 today.

With these hands I would grasp tightly to the chains of a swing, and I learned to fly.

I used these fingers to weave a crown from the long summer grass, wild wheat and dandelions. I would hold them over my head and dance in the breeze under the setting sun.

These are the hands I dug deep into the hot summer sand to find cool, damp earth. The hands that sifted through that sand in hopes of finding the perfect shell or piece of sea glass.

These hands are the hands that pulled me up through the cold salty ocean on a hot sticky night. Bringing me to the surface naked and laughing.

There is a small silver scar left over from the time I started to fall climbing over the fence in my yard, there is another from the time I rubbed an eraser over the back of my hand until I had erased all the skin. Small marks left behind, small secrets written in my skin.

My hands trembled the first time I opened a love letter from the secret boy, and then again the first time we kissed. And the first time he broke my heart I sobbed into my hands letting the tears sting my bloodied knuckles. Swollen and sore from punching down boxes at work to put into the recycle bin... Angry and raw from sticking my fingers down my throat in an attempt to rid myself of a pain I couldn't comprehend.

These hands remember the feeling of a cigarette between their fingers, and sometimes when I am really stressed my hands still do the motions of flicking the ashes.

I once sat out under the stars with a friend holding hands, pointing to the sky. Even now, 10 years later I find myself watching the stars. Reaching for heaven.

With these hands I have reached into tiny cracks and holes in the sand stone and climbed safely down into hidden worlds. I have used them to hold tightly to a slippery rock while looking over the edge of a waterfall.

With these hands I have massaged hundreds of bodies. My hands can intuitively travel over a persons anatomy and work out even the tiniest points of discomfort.

These are the hands that I delivered my own children with, the hands that reached down and gently guided their heads and shoulders out of my body and into this world.

I run these hands through my youngest son's long blond hair, as I have with each of my three son's knowing that someday I will have to cut it off because everyone thinks he is "the most beautiful girl".

I lay in bed at night tangled up in my sheets and my husband. Taking his hands in mine, holding them close to my heart. I can feel his pulse, he can feel my heart.

My hands look old, they are wrinkled and dry. A boyfriend once told me they were very "masculine" hands... Thanks for the complex Cam! By masculine, he said he meant strong. And they are strong. Strong, and wrinkly, and dry... maybe even mannish... But I like them still.

I use these hands to teach, to love, to talk, to nourish my family, to clean my house. They tell a story, and if you are someone who knows me well enough, you might know the stories within that story...

These are my hands that I have grown to love.