Almost thirty years ago, a city that I lived in then and still do today, erected a wall of hands to remember and memorialize its children with squares of their painted hand-prints, creating the entrance to a brand new playground and summer memories for this and future generations.
After years of childhood laughter, tag, birthday parties and afternoon lunches at our cities most famous park, this haven of fun has been replaced with a brand new playground for another generation of children; a weekend place of amusement our younger and sometimes older grandchildren beg us grandparents to take them to.
But what didn’t get replaced and still stands today in all its glory is that wall of hands from thirty years ago.
A memorial where our cities children, where two brothers and two sisters (four cousins) in our family permanently scrabooked their young hand-prints, a wall which tugs this parent’s heart when remembering my son and daughter’s life so long ago.
Hand-prints left behind;
A library of lives;
Wall to wall of stories;
A portrait of children begging a reunion.
I wonder how many grown children stop by and pay homage to their younger self.
I wonder about those sons or daughters who overlay their hand-print on their father or mother’s painted hand, their sacred square which bridges those years together and testifies to the family history they share.
In living life, we are leaving hand-prints behind, most of the time unknowingly.
Our innocent smiles of good morning to complete strangers…
Paying for someone’s coffee in the car behind you…
Holding the door for a patron entering the store…
Letting someone take your turn at the stop sign…
These are hand-prints that you leave.
Hand-prints are those single rose stems left behind at the front door of those lives touched by your life.
Hand-prints left behind while you are unaware of their present circumstances, sometimes in desperate want of this thoughtfulness.
Our years here on earth should reflect a wall of hands we’ve impacted in those simple acts of kindness; leaving hand-prints on the hearts of those thirsty for a drink of God’s love.
It really doesn’t take much.
Hand-prints left behind are woven and interlaced into the baskets we’ve planted small seeds in; never realizing the beauty which blooms one day in those lives we gardened.
Weaving her life into others thru baskets, I remember with joy our Bon Bon (Bonnie) and basket-weaver, a matriarch in our family.
Blessed to have a few of Bonnie’s baskets, I value these woven containers of love which left behind her hand-prints of time, creativity and great patience.
All of Bonnie’s baskets are celebrated with a personal hand-print left behind in her own signature.
Now that Bon Bon is with Jesus, seeing her name greatly increases the family sentiment of these gifts.
At our matriarch’s Home-going Service, her daughter thought nothing seemed more fitting than honoring her mother with one of her baskets overflowing with Bonnie’s favorite flowers and wheat.
I was deeply blessed by Bonnie’s son (my brother ‘n law) who asked me to celebrate our basket weaver with a poem of my heart.
Yes, it just doesn’t take much to leave your hand-print behind.
For Bonnie, it was baskets.
For you, it might be a song, a story, a building, a painting, a garden, a kind word or small act of kindness.
The endless lengths of naked reed,
Dyed color choice and shade.
In weaver’s hands, a masterpiece,
Behold a basket made.
Her basket filled with books or quilts,
Or plants the weaver’s choice.
The weaver’s heart displayed amid,
The humming of her voice.
Her friends, her kids, her special grands,
All woven in her heart.
Behold a basket made in love,
A gift she dare not part.
But soon the basket maker gives,
Into their open hands.
The basket of her heart receive,
Her friends, her kids and grands.
Rejoice in song, and hum as she,
Rejoice the love she leaves.
And interwoven in our lives,
Remains her basket weaves.