I’ve never liked my hands. I envied the girls with delicate hands, slender tapering fingers, graceful like doves and perfectly arched nails. Hands like those belonged to gentle ladies, ballerinas, pianists and princesses, not the rough and tumble girls like me.
Boy hands, that’s what I’ve called them. My hands aren’t long and slender but rather stubby in comparison. My fingers aren’t long nor delicate. My imperfect nails are clipped to a length as one might describe sensible shoes and seldomly painted. They are no longer plump and young but with the years have grown thin and sinewy, marking my age and a life of hard work and hard play.
I talk with my hands in a way that others have asked if I’m of Italian or latino descent. They flutter about like birds, animated, alive. I have been lost in thought, only to emerge to catch Clay watching me. He chuckles, grinning with arched brow, bemused to find I think with my hands as well. They express the things words cannot speak.
But, I have learned to love these hands. These hands of mine are strong. They have born callouses, built scaffolding, plastered buildings, roofed houses, hammered nails. These hands have worked on cars, covered in grease, split and burnt. They have lifted weights, played sports and threw punches, defending myself and others.
These hands are capable. They have fixed what needs fixing. They have cleared fence line, hauled hay and mucked barns. My hands have mown yards, made beds, scrubbed toilets, ironed clothes and fed multitudes.
These hands are creative. They have written poetry, prose, a blog and letters to friends. They have drawn, sketched, painted, repurposed furniture, tattooed, remodeled homes and made homes too.
These hands of mine are compassionate. They’ve been the cool hand pressed to fevered brows, the tender touch that wipes away a tear. These hands have held my head in sorrow, have been the comforting pat on another’s back and carried the burdens of many while folded in prayer.
These hands know love. These hands have cradled babies and tended their every need, played pattie cake and peek a boo. They’ve tussled hair and cupped cheeks for kisses. These hands have rubbed tired feet and scratched backs, brushed and braided hair. My hands fit perfectly within my husbands, my fingers lacing neatly between his own.
I have been hard on these hands, unkind to myself, too eager to see my own flaws and have taken for granted the vast magnitude of purpose they’ve served….somewhere forgotten that they and we, are perfect in our imperfection.
No, my hands are not pretty but they are hands that are strong, capable, creative, and compassionate. They have lifted the downtrodden, supported the weak and cheered, comforted, defended, friend and family. They have molded the lives of my children, nurtured my grandchildren and have been a reliable help and loving touch to my husband.
These are my hands, unpretty, imperfect….and they are loved.
Always With Love – Laura💕