I have always been fascinated by hands: The chubby hands of an infant; the strong hands of a man; the gentle, feeble hands of the elderly.

There is power, history and stories held in the lines and scars of hands, and the sanctuary of holding hands around a table of prayer.

Whose hands do you hold? Whose hands comfort you when you are sad? Whose hands are thrown up in the joy of celebration when you succeed and pat you on the back with the comfort of encouragement?

When I look at my hands, I see the continuation of my grandmother.

The reflection of her mirrors me with the same fingers, wrinkles, veins and lines. I see my hands hold the frosting tube the way she did as she taught me to create roses for a wedding cake. I see them cup during meditation the way hers folded for prayer.

The language of hands goes far past waving goodbye, clapping for joy or the blowing of kisses. Hands go straight to the heart, the head and the mouth in immediate reaction to cover our pain, our cries and our sorrows.

Our hands carry impressions of our ancestors; the work they did; the burdens they carried; the imprint of who they lifted and who they pushed down; the strength of who they fought and who they protected; and the love of who they reached for and who they let go of.

Our hands hold the heartprint for generations of the future. The calluses and gentleness are saved like treasures we tuck in our pockets, to be reached for and pulled out by new hands. What we feel and have felt lodges in the lifelines of our family palms.

The top of my hands with the wrinkles and veins brings me to a place of respect for the hands that came before me — who they held and who they loved. The palms of my hands are the soft newness of generations ahead waiting to experience and explore. The spaces between my fingers hold the secrets of the past and the anticipation of the future.

I am careful of what I hold with my hands. Dirt is never completely washed away as my hands melt into those of the future. I am intentional with who I hold with my hands as the love will pass forward, a compass for compassion.

My hands are my grandmother’s hands. I guard and cherish my hands with reverence for the past and hope for the future.

Whose hands have you been given?

Pennie’s Life Lesson: “Our hands carry impressions of our ancestors and heart-prints for generations yet to come.

Pennie Hunt is a Wyoming-based author, blogger and speaker. Contact her at penniehunt@gmail.com.

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