Generations Reflected in The Hands
His hands were pale and dry, long and wrinkled with a small upward curve at the nail. They were distinctive worn, warm and boney hands. I have seen four generations of those hands. These were the hands of the old, tired and ready to settle into the Earth. As I entwined my hands with his hands, I saw the similarity of the genetics in our hands. What an odd feeling to see the end of a life of someone that brought you into the world.
Hands can feel, touch, manipulate, talk, teach and reach. Our fingers can probe, hook, poke, slap, caress, wipe and point. Our nails impress, scratch, reveal, cut and bore. The palms turn up, turn down, turn sideways, open, close, and when slapped against one another, clap. When fingers intertwine and close individually, they become fists. When palms close together in quiet unison, they become the stance of prayer.
Some of the first gestures we learn are with our hands. A wave of hello or good-bye is elementary and an early gesture. A child will learn to kiss their palm and throw a kiss or show a throwing gesture of NO.
Holding hands is quiet comfort. Shaking hands is a firm hello or goodbye with civil respect. Lending a hand we take for granted as much as being hand and hand.
My hands are tan and soft, extensive and etched with a small upward curve at the nail. They are distinctive wearing, warming and lean hands. The generations reflect in these hands. These are hands of the living and purposeful, ready to carry on in life. As I release his hands from my own, I see the similarity of our lives and must carry on the legacy. What a bittersweet experience to know that his impression is living within me to pass on to the next generation. Therefore, the end becomes a beginning toward another end and another beginning.