Monday, May 16, 2011

Less Than Perfect

There are some who look at dirty hands and cringe.  There are others who wonder if Mr. Soap has ever been introduced to said dirty hands or if they need a good home.  I, on the other hand, see hands that love to be apart of spring time, that love new projects, hands that are made to create.  I see those hands as doers of good and hard work.  Hands that really know how to live.  They tell a story.

I have never been one to wear gloves or use expensive creams.  I don't protect them from anything and I tend to forget they look the way they do. If I'm going to garden then I need to feel what I am doing and what I am working with even if the dirt stays for days and stains the beds of my fingernails.  If I am washing dishes then why would I not want to soak them in clean warm water?  I actually like to look at my hands and see that they tell my story. These callused, unmanicured, scared hands are mine and each little imperfection either reminds me of my past or gives me glimpses into my future. 

My cute family has a history of hard working women who's hands at one point looked like mine I'm sure.  I use to love looking at my Gammie's hands as she held mine during church and I remember wondering about the reason for her age spots and the tiny wrinkles that had developed.  Her hands were so beautiful to me.  I miss them.  When I would practice my violin long enough I would get black fingertips from the fingerboard of my instrument and I would remember hers and her Gammie sized hugs after giving me a lesson.  My mother's hands are the same and are looking more and more like my Gammie's.  I don't mind seeing bread dough in my wedding ring or age spots starting to appear because that makes me just a little bit more like the women I want to be and it reminds me of them and how I'm trying to pass on their legacy.


Tonight I received a package from my sweet mother who thoughtfully sent my Sadie her own little garden kit. She has been watching me plant our garden and has enjoyed being in the dirt with me so I knew the minute she saw this gift we had to immediately open it and plant. After getting stared I saw my hands in the dirt and yelled for Mark to grab the camera.  This was a perfect way to document a symbolic moment for me and for her. 

Sadie is my little girl who will one day have hands like I do.  She will learn to work hard and to love working hard because I will teach her the way my mother and Gammie taught me. She will hopefully learn how to play the violin and one day, while she is off at school she'll see her callused hands and her black fingertips and think of where she came from. 

Thank you Gammie and thank you mom for setting the example for me and for my children.  Because of you I know that beauty comes from hands that look less then perfect.

Today she began to learn that.




  1. I have tears in my ears! I guess it's not so bad that I have brown spots on my hands like the old lady on Tangled. :o) And now... I am going to plant some more seeds. Love You!

  2. So sweet! I remember your hands too, working hard but also having lots of fun!