Friday, February 25, 2011

My Mother's Hands

As a child, I remember looking up over the counter at the grocery store while my mother wrote the check to pay for the loot.  She had the most beautiful hands, writing so gracefully across the check book.  She gently tore out the page and handed it to the clerk.  Her wedding ring sat just perfectly on her finger as her wrist flicked over for the receipt.  She seemed so grown up, so adult.

When you are small you tend to see heads with no neck, stomachs with smiles sitting on top of them, way up high - and hands.  My mother's hands always gave me a sense of security and calm.  They were graceful and soft and yet so in control. Her hands ran the house, comforted the hurtful moments and waved at us furiously when we acted up in the back seat of the car.  They directed the world. Her hands commanded little events and large plans.  They dialed the phone with the utmost of grace; the dial going round and round while she selected which hole to place her index finger into.  The memories of watching it make me smile still.

My mother's hands knew all that needed to be done, and yet they also rose to the occasion of artistry. They drew lovely sketches with charcoal.  They managed to paint water colors of beautiful scenery.  They showed a creative side need not be suppressed in spite of the daily grind.  They held wonder and they held control.  What power and mystery they possessed.

And yet my mother's hands grow old, fragile and more beautiful.  And now mine are aging too.  As I talked to a friend today waving my hands in the air, I saw the spots.  You know the spots that reflect the sunshine hours you spent and the horses you rode.  They reflect the hours of typing and the years of holding babies.

As I look at my hands, I am grateful for my mother and her mother before her. Their hands showed what power there is in a simple gesture.  Yes, I remember well how beautiful my mother's hands are, and hopefully will be for many years to come.