Tuesday May 8, 2023
I am not sure where this article is going. But I keep on writing. I was sitting in a cafe this morning and watched as a young woman walked past holding the hand of a wee toddler who looked to be about 2 years old. The little girl looked so happy and proud of herself as she strutted along wearing her bright pink sunglasses. Her arm was fully extended up as she reached her hand to hold the hand of her mom or caregiver. I found it so moving.
The simple act of holding hands. It says so much. I remember how lovely it felt to walk with my daughter, holding hands, when she was little. Her warm, tiny hand connected to mine. The love, trust and caring that we both felt. I still love it when my husband reaches out and holds my hand when we are out on a date. Dave Gunning sings 2 songs about hands that I love. One is called “These Hands” and it considers some of the things people can do with their hands: write songs, deliver babies, comfort someone crying, bless a million people and help deliver the world from evil. His other song called “Hard Working Hands” talks about men who built boats on the east coast and in the chorus he says “if you want to tell the kind of man I am, take a look at these hard working hands.” I have 2 friends who photograph the hands of their friends and family, young and old. And last weekend I attended the Highlands Festival Singers Concert for their gospel concert. The show was uplifting. The second half began with a song about our hands helping each other. In the practice of qigong we talk about the hands being an extension of our heart. We give and receive with our hands and express our creativity with our hands.
As I watched the little girl walk by I found myself thinking about how we all come into the world wanting to be connected. To hold hands. To belong. We start like this girl wanting to be part of a community. To feel loved and cared for. To be fed, feel safe and have a home and to be healthy. I don’t think we ever lose that desire. We feel loved when we are helped, and good when we are the helper. Lots of research shows that we feel happy when we are giving and helping. (Hence the incredibly volunteer efforts that go into making our community a vibrant place to live). ) And there are times in our lives when we are able to be on the giving end of things, and other times when we need help. We need someone to hold our hand and help us. There are many challenges facing our society today and a lot of work to be done in many sectors. We each have to remember that all of us can help in our own way. If we have a lot we can give alot. If we have a little we can give a little. It all helps strengthen our community and our planet. We all have the ability to hold someone's hand.