My hands are ageing.
Born in Cornwall on the Summer solstice of 1970 my hands are now 46 years old.
My hands have climbed trees, plaited hair, dug in the dark moist earth and picked daisies.
They have learnt to swim, to write and wipe salty tears from my cheeks.
My hands have steered a bicycle, a motor bike, a car and a kite. They have learned to clean
and dress a wound, to run IV fluids, take a temperature and a blood pressure.
They have washed the dead.
My hands have been caked with the orange dust of the out-back and lifted fresh mint tea
to my lips in a smoky, Moroccan night market.
My hands have rolled tobacco into fine straight cigarettes and then fiddled idly
for the months it took to resist.
My hands have clapped and drummed and lit fires. They have trace a labyrinth,
held the humblest of stones in great reverence and dressed my hair with
magpie feathers and fox bones.
My hands have felt soft golden sands and turned purple in the Atlantic surf.
I have licked ice cream from them, washed mud from them and stuffed them
deep into warm pockets on cold nights.
My hands have caught babies as they slipped into this world; quickly passing them
to a mother’s waiting arms. They have cradled dead babies when a mother is too
grief stricken to look. They cradled my own and again wiped salty tears from my cheeks.
My hands have dog-eared favourite books and clattered over keyboards. They have
wound new camera film onto a camera spool and danced in delight over that first touch screen.
My hands have trembled with awe and love as they lifted my son to my breast and
as a small ring with a big promise slipped onto my finger.
My hands have made things; magic and mischief and daisy chains, music and cakes and fire.
They have made things better, made things worse and sometimes just held space.
My hands are ageing and I like it.
Originally posted as The Barefoot Witch November 27, 2016