Forgoing the plastic wrapping that seems to blanket the earth these days has meant relying on our hands to provide the same basic foods and goods we only recently bought heavily packaged from the store. Lately my hands are my teachers, showing me all kinds of things I didn’t know I could do. Hands, in fact, seem to be the primary tool in a plastic free life. These days mine knead bread and stir pots, roll tortillas and express milk from goat udders, pick rosehips for tea, crochet scarf after scarf, and hang diapers on the line. If that sounds like Little House on the Prairie but with radiant heat floors and indoor plumbing, it is, and I love it.
I also like what Susan Lydon says of hand crafting in her book The Knitting Sutra:
“The sensation is almost impossible to describe (she writes),
as it occurs through the hands rather than the mind and is utterly nonverbal in nature,
but it feels as though invisible teachers were guiding your movements.
Perhaps it is not that at all but merely a connection to the collective unconscious
or a kind of ancestral memory common to us all …
you don’t know it’s there until you tap into it by accident,
with a particular motion of the hands, and then suddenly,
with an almost electric shock, the body remembers.”
What are you learning from your hands these days?