Random Thoughts

A Handy Appreciation

Your hands do a lot

This is my hand. I wish I could say I was on my way to the boxing gym, but that wasn’t the case. I wish I could say that this — the bandage — happened while I was climbing, or surfing, or skateboarding or mountain biking or even just hiking… but I don’t have a cool story behind it.

This happened while I was gardening. Pruning, to be exact. An overzealous trim and a rusty pair of scissors made for a very sudden mishap and a trip to the ER. Some sutures and a tetanus shot later, I was sent home with a sore arm and a throbbing hand once the anesthesia wore off.

It was my first time ever getting stitches or going to the hospital in my 33 years of being a tomboy. For gardening, of all things. How extreme is that?

And while I’ve been going about my business (or trying to), I realized something.

My whole day revolves around my hands, whether I’m gardening, cooking, chicken coop cleaning, ukulele practicing or even just typing. In fact, I’m typing this all with one hand, and it’s kind of a bitch. (Flashback to seventh-grade typing class where I finger-pecked my way through the first week… except back then, I could at least make a capital letter quite easily. I actually started this post last night so I could finish it this afternoon.)

I know I’ll recover (and somewhat quickly, as the stitches should come out in two to three weeks if all goes well) but sitting here, slightly out of commission, is really giving me a newfound appreciation for my hands.

It made me think of all the little things I will truly look forward to at the end of the month: Holding my pugs in my arms. Harvesting a hefty basket of tomatoes. Shampooing with both hands. Slicing a lemon for my water. Eating corn on the cob. Even washing that first dish by hand (ha, who knew I’d ever say that?!). Thank goodness I’m right-handed, at least.

Unless you’re say, a climber or an artist, you probably aren’t aware of all that your hands do on a daily basis. Look at them again. They are magnificent instruments.

Since clicking around on the web is much easier than replying to emails right now, I spent my day Googling hands. (I’m the type of person who sits in front of the TV with my laptop, just so I can Google the things on TV I find fascinating, like destinations on “House Hounters International” or politics from “The Newsroom.”) And I came across these interesting facts about hands… For example, did you know that the human hand is unique not because we have opposable thumbs, but because of the ability for our pinky and ring fingers to reach across our palm and touch our thumb? That dexterity and flexibility is part of what makes our hands so powerful.

Enjoy your handsome activities this week, whatever you end up doing!

About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring—all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »