Monday, January 28, 2008

Grandma's Hands

I always loved my grandma's hands. The loose translucent skin like a roadmap, the blue veins and wrinkles were her journey. I remember watching them at work, kneading dough with a rhythm that was hypnotic. I don't remember the sound of her voice anymore but I remember her working hands. Even as a child, I thought those hands were beautiful. They were strong yet delicate, methodical yet inspired. It wasn't the product of her work that kept me propped at the table mesmerized. It wasn't the bread with honey or pastries that kept me from joining the other children's games. It was that I wanted hands like hers, confident, efficient, and able to create. I look at my mother's hands and see a similar journey. Though she could never match my grandma's homemade bread, my mom still produces a garden as vast as the fields my dad harvests. Her hands tell of her work ethic. Finding myself far from the prairies and running my own household, I glanced at my hands tonight. The skin was not yet loose but was dry from wedging clay. As I rubbed lotion into my artist's hands, I noticed the rhythmic, habitual motion and I was proud. I studied the wrinkles, the creases still superficial, much like the smile lines at the creases of my eyes. My hands made me smile. I may slather cream on my face every evening to slow the aging process, but my hands, I look forward to seeing them weather, documenting my work ethic and mapping my journey.

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