• Hilda Van Netten

Hands

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies,

my grandfather said.

A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made.

Or a garden planted.

Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die,

and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted,

you're there.


It doesn't matter what you do, he said,

so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it

into something that's like you after you take your hands away.

The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching,

he said.

The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all;

the gardener will be there a lifetime.”


Ray Bradbury


Two sessions of art classes have come and gone! Who knows if our indoor gatherings will be restricted again in January, but I just want to take a moment and celebrate. Two sessions!

Hands have made memories on paper. Voices chatted and hearts made new friendships. A sheep with an attitude flowed out of this artist's chalk pastel pencils.


Note the different colours ready to be used in the other hand. When you've figured out a colour and there are 60 to choose from, you guard it carefully.


The children's book is coming along nicely. A garden wall was built yesterday, a wheelbarrow was drawn and a flower garden was planted on paper. Some grandchild will treasure this gift from the heart when they receive it.



Kids' hair colour is not always easy to achieve. It would be nice if you could wave your hand above your painting and things would work out. Sometimes, it takes mixing and layering of colours to get that realistic highlight. Or, maybe it was the hand waving that did it. Maybe there is magic in the air.



The artist below confessed that she was worried about painting the frilly headband. This picture is a bit blurry, but I can tell you that she figured it out and it looks good. It looks to me like the little one-year-old's face is being uncovered by the artist's hand.



Doorways were painted with confidence.



And, a Mennonite girl concentrating on what her hands were producing, came alive.



Maybe she was making hot chocolate bombs. Maybe she was thinking how much fun it would be to pour hot milk over one of these delights and watch the shell melt and tiny marshmallows explode in front of your eyes.


Maybe.

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