2007-09-11

Hands

I have a scratch across the knuckle of the middle finger on my right hand. I don't even remember exactly how it happened. What I do remember is that 10 minutes after I changed the lawnmower blade and was subsequently criss-crossing the lawn, the crease of my knuckle was stained dark red. The wound is inconsequential. It's almost magical how quickly it is healing.

Sometimes, when I look at the shrinking sore, I marvel at the rest of my hand, turning it from side to side, alternatively clenching a fist or inspecting the creases in my palm. I wonder about the story that each fold tells, and what my hands say about me. It seems that a man's hands seem to encapsulate the history of his life's work.

Thank may sound odd coming from a software developer, but I'm not talking about what I do at "at work." When I look at my hands, I don't see the countless lines of computer code that they've typed, but I see them covered in dirt from planting my first garden or coated in grease from changing the spark plugs in the 85 Benz. I think of shaking hands with Bishops, investigators, and home teaching families. I remember hands that smelled like garlic and tomatoes from making lasagne for friends, and tired, sore hands after picking rocks from a farmer's field to pay for scout camp.

Fortunately, my hands are still young, and they have lots of mileage left: pages to turn, things to fix and build, food to prepare, and hugs to give.