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The Madeleine

Loving Hands

By James Webber

Poets tell us that the human heart is where love resides.

I think it's in the hands.

Hands are how we communicate what is in our hearts. They are how we greet and touch; write and sign to one another. Hands are how we reach out and feel the world.

I remember my disappointment on a childhood trip to the museum when it said DO NOT TOUCH on every exhibit. Because our hands are the primary instruments of our sense of touch. They are the noses of the arms. We always want to sniff and touch new things (and taste them too, where edible).

Hands are how we connect with the earth, and give meaning to its raw materials. With our hands we sculpt clay, carve wood and slow-craft perfume. Sometimes, but only after years of practice and dedication, it becomes less clear where our hands end and the tool or material we are working with begins.

With our hands we caress, we soothe, we heal; we hold onto our loved ones. When we are physically hurt - even if hands were responsible, it is most often hands that make us better. And when our hands aren’t enough to save or mend, we use our hands to pray.

There is one object that can be held in our hand which is spellbindingly unlike any other - the hand of someone we love.

Because we may feel love in the approximate region of our hearts.

But we show it with our hands.

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