My hands are old. I guess technically they’re the same age as the rest of me, which, at this writing, is 57 years and 6 months. But they’ve never been that soft and smooth as silk skin that I recognize the moment I see it on others, and even when we used to shake hands (remember that???), you could tell when the person who placed their hand in yours was a good keeper of skin. Lotions, creams, ointments, wax (!), gloves, and everything else I have used over the last 50 or so years never really made a difference in the wrinkles, the cracked skin, the hard lines, and the rough edges of my hands.
The fingers are double jointed, crooked from breaks and bends, with knuckles that ache a little bit every now and then. My nails have rarely been that perfect shape and color, painted to match everything else, the season included. I consider it a win if the hangnails aren’t visible and the ends are not ragged. The patches of skin on my palms are coarse, proof of too much hand washing even before it became the thing to do, and probably a little bit of heredity and DNA tossed in there for good measure. I have a pretty good mix of my mama and daddy’s hands, both large and rough, working people’s hands, kept strong by manual labor for life and tending to the chaos that brings along for the ride. But as I look at these rough, calloused, wrinkled, scratched up hands, I still see beauty. I use them to create words on screens, and reach the soul of those in need. I use them to hold onto dreams and drive with the wind…. I can hold a squirming dog or comfort a child, scrub the floor or fix a ribbon, clean out a shed or piece together a broken necklace…..
The beauty isn’t in the outside of these rough, calloused, wrinkled, scratched up hands. The beauty is in what they can do, how they can help, and when they are used. Seems like that might be how to see ourselves sometimes, too…. with Glitter & Grace,