I grew up in an Italian family where children’s faces in their mother’s palms and big hugs with huge pats on the back were an everyday thing. Talking with your hands, biceps squeezes or forearm taps were appropriate and normal. No one was afraid. It was a display of warmth, and no one thought about it. It was natural like a crisp Fall breeze and cheerful like a big smile.

I read a Facebook post by a young girl who has a great job, lots of friends, yet isn’t dating anyone. She wrote that days go by without her even experiencing another’s touch.

She feels this absence profoundly and wishes it isn’t so PC to skip the hand squeeze or the hug. In the right place with the correct meaning, it’s lovely to have this warmth and affection displayed. Yes, free hugs from strangers can be a bit much and personal space is to be respected, however emptiness is evident to many people around us.

I live in South Florida where there’s a huge elderly population, and I used to work as a nurse. Hospital staff are often told not to put an arm around their patients to comfort them because it could be taken the wrong way, but I’m aware that many people—especially older people—desire human contact and a bit of tender loving care.

There’s a real fear around being touched and a positive spin on hands is needed. These beautiful gifts of ours are to be appreciated for their function and unique beauty.

To have two working hands is magnificent. If your digits move correctly, you can flex the phalanges and that’s a gift worth celebrating!

Hands Illustration by Kimberly K. Taylor-Pestell

Watching my grandmother’s hands knead dough or crocheting a baby’s sweater was a glorious thing to see. Seeing a dad hold his daughter’s hand, or a mother place a band aid on a small bruise is lovely. Strong hands on a steering wheel or a football player catching or throwing the football is something a lot of people might not give a second thought. I LOVE and notice these beautiful things.

Kristen and I should’ve made an “All Hands On Deck” poster of when we first started working together because that phrase fits our website and work on Sage Words so well. We were ALL-IN from the very beginning and got a heckuva lot done in a year. We want to lend a hand and make a difference in the lives of people with Celiac.

Teamwork lightens a load when you have a handful. It makes things work and turns out well.

When you move to a new place, there is physical hands-on labor that, no matter how many people you hire, still requires you to make it a home so that it’s functioning to its fullest. So that your family can smoothly handle life’s daily responsibilities. Small things like where the tape and scissors go, which cabinet is for paper towels, and where we can put the lunch boxes for easy access. Do we have a spot for printer paper, shampoo and breakfast supplies where everyone can find them?

It’s the same thing with designing a book or a website. The handiwork that goes into all of these things is immeasurable.

Warm water streaming onto your hands makes doing the dishes a joy. Folding warm towels straight from the dryer makes a monotonous chore pleasurable. Gardening, building, knitting, cooking, making coffee, pouring wine, washing a window, petting a dog, holding a hand, swimming, painting… however, to see where we can help others and find the comfort in the simple things is what makes life grand.

It’s time to show hands some love! The hustle of actual hands in motion is imperative. Let’s face it, to have two hands that work is tremendous. To touch, to feel, to comfort, to heal… I cherish hands!