The other day I helped a buddy pour some concrete. After we were finished, I looked at my hands. They were nicked and dusty and sore. I saw new wounds and old scars. I’m not sure I’ve ever really looked at them before, certainly not with any more than a cursory glance. They tell quite a story. Our hands are with us every day of our lives. They are a time capsule of our experiences and they are special.
As children, our hands hold our mothers’ hand during our first walk into elementary school. Then, they let go and we begin a new journey. Our hands play paddy-cake and peek-a-boo and cribbage. Mine have thrown balls for friends and dogs, thrown tantrums and a few punches. They have held my babies and fishing poles and beer cans. They have wiped tears and bottoms. They have comforted and scolded. They have raised a finger behind my dad’s back when I was mad as child and they shaved his face as he was dying of cancer. We live our lives with our hands.
I have a wonderful scar from the ONE time I was the kindling holder while my cousin, Shelly, was the kindling chopper. We were young and I bled a lot. I have scars on three knuckles from an old skateboard crash. I have another scar on my right index finger from a broken window handle from a 1980 diesel Rabbit. I have many more that I don’t remember.
Our hands are windows into our past. They tell the tales of good and bad days. They represent our best and our worst. With them we have healed or hurt. We talk with them and through them. We hug and wave or put them in our pocket and they speak.
We bruise and scrape and callous our hands through the living of our lives. They are connected to our hearts and may in fact, represent the nearest living evidence of the memories we hold in our hearts. For this reason, looking at my hands and thinking of where they’ve been and what they’ve done, I can believe that nothing was in vain. I have worked and tried and explored and lost and won. I’ve lived and my hands reveal this truth.
Entering the post middle-age era of my life and really feeling no closer to an “answer” than I ever have, I am comforted by these hands of mine. They just show up and keep showing up for whatever this wonderful world presents in front of them. They still work and hold the things I love. They are not perfect, but I like their flaws. They’re good hands.
Hands represent hope and possibility. They act on our ideas. They are the vehicles driven by our hearts. With good hands and good hearts, anything is possible…I like this thought…
[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (makes a GREAT GIFT – buy it on Amazon here!). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland Fitness!]