The Hands of Spring

13 Mar

This Sunday, the extended “Spring forward” hours coupled with glorious weather encouraged most of us outside. Bird calls quickly disappeared beneath the roar of lawnmower, leaf-blower, and the dull hum of a distant chainsaw.

Dear Ones, we have entered Spring Fever Phase One. This is the time to turn the soil. Incorporate that last heap of organic material, leaf litter, seasoned manure and newspaper clippings into the soil. Cover it with a tarp to hasten decomposition.

On Sunday we also broke a commandment.

We worked. A soul-soothing, communing-with-God type of work we justified as boisterous exaltation, not burdensome exertion. Monday came too fast and with scratched hands, sore backs and a feeling of intense satisfaction we asked our children to twist the top off the pain reliever, and rub muscle cream on places we could not reach. Recognizing the arrival of Spring Fever Phase Two, we clamor to purchase seeds no human could possibly plant in one day. Scurring to garden supply stores (preferably locally owned mom and pop’s) we consider purchasing a shiny new tool, or just one more fruit tree.

Rest up my friend, Phase Two comes in a blink. A moment. A breath. Phase Two forces hard-core and newbie gardeners to prioritize. Things go undone. Important to-dos like laundry and vacuuming. Urgent tasks like pampering and preening. Never one for the mani-pedi routine, today I leave you with a glimpse of “worker-hands.”

Hands that touch the soil. Grow. Nurture.

Billy Albertson’s hands signing the book about him. Notice the dirt permanently attached to the groves of his fingers. Isn’t that grans?

Lately, I have noticed that each of us are born with worker hands. Some are soft and smooth, others…well, not so much.

What do your hands look like?

Are they wrinkled and spotted? Or are they polished to perfection? Regardless of appearance, our hands are the tools of our heart.

Today’s blog images are of tough-leathery hands that split wood and bust clods of clay; hands that knead bread and force milk from animals. Hands that some may identify as ugly, worn, old…useless. Hands that regardless of appearance, always reach out to a friend and, to me, are a thing of beauty.

What will you do with your hands?

Renea Winchester is the author of In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes. A traditionally published book that any book store can order upon request. In Billy’s area, books are available at Bookmiser in Roswell and The Book Exchange in Marietta. Visit to learn more.


One response to “The Hands of Spring

  1. Shannon

    March 13, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    My hands are not those of a typical mom (age not to be disclosed). Finger nails are stained from the dirt, hands are dry from too much washing, scrubbing, and digging. There is no fingernail polish and they are by no means filed or even. Some suggest a manicure and polish. Some may even be offended. Would I have it any other way? NO. There is nothing more rewarding than digging in the dirt.


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