What is it about hands that fascinate me?
Hands, quite literally, hold our pasts and our futures.
Hands create our present.
Hands offer gifts, and hold our hearts.
Hands offer comfort and support. And a Gibbs-style hit up the backside of your head when you need it.
I spent hours massaging lotion in Grandad's and Dad's hands as they were dying. It's amazing how dry dying people's hands get.
Their years of work - labour - were visible in their hands.
I remember the thrill of Dad discovering he had fingerprints again. To explain - years of working with acids, and stone (he was a stone mason / tiler), had worn his fingerprints off. (And the hairs on his knees - many hours spent kneeling on job sites). It took months after he retired for these normal, everyday, signifiers of identity to return.
Hands sustain us. They make our food - our clothing - the comforts of our lives. Whether they belong to a factory worker many miles away - or our own hands.
As I use my hands to create this year's batch of Christmas gifts - handknitted socks - I feel that I offer my love and care to the recipients in each stitch my hands create.
Hands. Take care of them. Love them. And acknowledge all the hard work they do, every day, without us really noticing.