I’ve been meeting a lot of new folks lately (yay!) and, on more than one occasion, people have remarked on my handshake. Apparently it’s gotten quite firm.
I’ve been thinking about hands, noticing the changes in my own. The backs of them red and freckled from long soaks in sunshine. Cracked and creased from repeated washings, an urban landscape of intersecting lines etched into my skin. Short cropped nails that save teats and my palms from undue wear and tear during milking. Veins bubble at the skin, like turquoise worms about to break through soil, but that’s something inherited that’s been with me always. My palms, hot pink with fresh blood-flow, stimulated by constant activity. Blisters dot my fingers. Blisters formed from holding every-day tools: pitchforks, shovels, hoof trimmers.
My hands feel tight when I wake up, new muscle having been generated but the skin unwilling to accommodate it. The taught skin tugs at my fingers and pulls them towards my palms, begging for a stretch.
They’re constantly in motion, these hands. Holding, tugging, washing, milking, shoveling. Muscles committing new motions and tasks to memory each day.