Monday, May 4, 2009

These Hands Do So Much

The other day, when I laid with my youngest for a nap, I placed my hand atop her small one. As I thought about the difference in size, and in experiences, I realized how much could be attributed to these hands of mine.

With them, in just thirty years, I have held small treasures and caressed larger ones. They have curled around tools and implements, followed the pattern of a mother's hands and done the duties of a student, employee, volunteer. My hands have folded together in prayer, wiped tears--mine and others'--and held on for dear life. They've clapped in joy and in rhythm, waved as many goodbyes as hellos, and led me down the path toward my writing dream.

They are already a trophy, of sorts.

What have you done with your hands?

30 comments:

Jessica said...

Janna,
What a lovely post! I just took a nap with my three year old yesterday and I loved how he cuddled right up to me. :-)

My hands are a "trophy", as you said. But I have done both good and bad with them. I hope, starting now, that they'll only do good things and be soft, gentle, and loving. :-)

Travis Erwin said...

There is a story in this post.

Lori Tiron-Pandit said...

So much emotion in this post, Janna. Very beautiful.

Barbara said...

When I was little, my grandmother would stroke my small hands and say she hoped they would never have to work as hard as her's had worked. As a mother of six children, I've thought about that statement many times. My hands, now, have worked hard, too. They was washed thousands of dishes, made thousands of meals, made-up thousands of messy beds, and wiped many tears, both of joy and sadness. My hands could tell many stories and indeed, do, to the sensitive observer.

Now when I look at my hands, I am pleased, for I see in them, her hands. They are the hands of mother, wife, sister, friend, writer, poet, musician, child of God. They are the hands of a life lived well.

Joanne said...

What a thoughtful post, Janna. I agree with Travis, what a story lies in your words. I'm engaged in it already and want to turn the page for more.

Amy said...

I've done many of the same things with my hands, plus....helped bring life into the world (as a Labor & Delivery nurse!). A few years ago I took a picture of my daughters' and my feet. We'd just had pedicures and I wanted to capture how our feet looked at ages 38, 7 and 4. I thought about the same thing then---all the places my feet have taken me and how they appeared. I have that picture in a scrapbook somewhere, and I look forward to revisiting it someday when my girls and I are older.

Melanie Avila said...

What a beautiful way of looking at it. :)

The first things that came to mind for me:

- packed to move countless times
- twirled a baton
- played endless sports
- slipped a ring on my hubby's finger
- killed ants :P

Kristen Painter said...

Recently? Scrubbed toilets. Woo. Hoo.

Lady Glamis said...

That is beautiful! I think this is perfect for thinking about Mother's Day coming up next week. I already have a tear in my eye.

Janna Qualman said...

Jessica, I imagine we've all done bad things. It's recognizing them and trying not to repeat such actions with these hands of ours.

Travis - I take that as the highest of compliments. Thank you!

Thank you so much, Lori.

Barbara - Beautiful thoughts. I especially loved this: " My hands could tell many stories and indeed, do, to the sensitive observer."

Joanne - Wow! Thank you very much!

Amy - A very special photo, and I bet they'll love it as much as you will, looking back. :)

Melanie - That's a great list! (I've been squashing ants of late, too. Gah!)

Kristen - Are you for hire? ;)

Lady - Oh, you're right! *warm fuzzies*

Janna Qualman said...

Jessica - Somehow I didn't complete my thought... It's recognizing them and trying not to repeat such actions with these hands of ours --> that's most important.

Cindy said...

That was such a lovely post! Mostly when I think about what my hands have done, I think of creating. I am amazed at all the things my hands have created over the years. Paintings, jewelry, books, tents of blankets (with my kids), music on my violin...the list goes on and on. How wonderful it is to think of all the things we often forget about so quickly. All the things our hands have touched in different places. Different friends...Cool post!

Melissa Marsh said...

I love to hold my daughter's hand as we walk - even if she will be 9 years old this month. :-)

T. Anne said...

What a beautiful question. Outside of loads of housework I use them only to show love.

quixotic said...

That was such a beautiful post!

Jody Hedlund said...

Lately it seems my hands are forever typing! I can hear the clickity-clack of my fingers most of the day! I'm hoping the clickty-clacking will slow down once I finish my WIP.

Rebecca Nazar said...

Lots and I'd love a manicure. ;-)

Janna Qualman said...

Cindy - You've got a lot of creativity going on! :)

Melissa - I bet you'll never get tired of that.

T. Anne - That's a good thing!

quixotic - Thank you!

Jody - Oh, yes, the clickety-clack. So important!

Rebecca - Sign me up!

ralfast said...

A mother's hands are a children life.

Woman in a Window said...

My hands ache for many places yet to travel, but they sure have been a few places. Nice thinking here.

Janna Qualman said...

Beautiful, Rafael!

Woman - The sights they must have been privy to, huh?

giddymomof6 said...

Awww.. I love this! Mine through the help of my heavenly father have first hand (get it?) helped with many miracles. They may be short and have odd fingernails, but I'll always love them. They're my mom's hands. Jenni

WendyCinNYC said...

Most recently: walked the dog, held the elevator for someone, played the piano (badly), and typed a blog post.

Nice post, Janna. There's a passage in Revolutionary Road with a son comparing his hands to his dying father's that made me cry. I remember it distinctly and this reminded me of it.

Turkey Lurkey said...

Great insight on two important appendages! :)

colbymarshall said...

Janna, just dropping in to say...something special is awaiting you over at my blog ;-)

Capri K said...

Cared for our children, it's what I keep coming back to.

Janna Qualman said...

Jenni - I get it and I love it!

Wendy - It sounds like a poignant moment in the book. I'll have to check it out.

Turk - Indeed! ;)

Colby - How exciting!

Capri K - And I think that's most important, don't you?

Terri Tiffany said...

What a wonderful way to express this! I could picture your hands together.
I've done a lot with my hands--this week I am cleaning and clearing my house!
Thank you for your prayers for us!

Ana said...

Hello Janna. Interesting that you talk of hands. I too have been observing hands latetly, and over the weekend shared my views of hands to a friend. My discoveries are that the hands tell the real age and story of a person. Like you say, through experiences which leave one breathless, and these can go either way. Happy Hand Post. Lovely to drop by. :)

Janna Qualman said...

Terri - Absolutely! I'm really glad things are looking up.

Ana - Thanks for always sharing such lovely thoughts. :)