Long before my fingers began to ache. Long before my hands became gnarled. I use to harvest fish, rabbits, ducks, and pheasants. I treasured the time in the woods and fields. I saw and experienced how the earth grew and changed. I saw what God gave us to nurture.
I grew up in a large city, if you could believe. Nature’s way filled with tar patched concrete streets, large orange block buildings, and red brick houses. Sidewalks showed me first that trees were stronger. Their roots, like fingers would uplift the cement and crush the walks in their hands. Tornadoes stretch out its fist and swept away man’s imprint.
At one score years, the oppressive heat of Augusta’s blood red clay august had us pushing our hands skyward, volunteering to serve in Viet Nam. To no avail. Returning home, the deep green leaves of Michigan would hand wash your soul and smooth out your fears like a mother’s tender touch. Back to the Fort after the hands of time would spin through your 96 hours.
Minutes are thrown together as months. Months push-off to years. You reach out to grasp Natures lessons. God will always be there, waiting to give you a hug. Despair’s grip will shrivel away, while Love’s arms rescue you, pulling you above the Storm.
Now as our fingers twist with pain, we comfort ourselves as we focus on the hands of Christ, our Savior, pierced with scrawny spikes, asking for the strength to accept his saving grace. Sooner or later nature and time will overtake and lead us away by the hand.
For now we rejoice holding our Grandson’s fingers, entwined together with ours. Eating S’mores, baiting worms, setting up tents, we teach them how to pick the fresh, black raspberries in the gnat filled summer woods. Hand in hand we build up the future heritage that will exist beyond present wall.