Do you ever look at your hands and marvel at all they do for you? All the wonderful skills you practice because you've trained your hands to respond, seemingly automatically, to do a task?
The picture is a famous one called Drawing Hands by the artist Escher, it captures some of the wonder and magic of our hands. I've just read an article illustrated by stencils of hands on a cave wall dated back to 40,000 years ago, possibly done by Neanderthals -- yes, those supposedly crude, barely intelligent human-like creatures that populated Europe before the supposedly superior homo sapiens arrived from points south. Actually the anthropologists aren't sure whether the cave hands were Neanderthal or homo sapiens because they aren't sure when homo sapiens supposedly killed off the Neanderthals in Europe.
Whichever those hands belonged to, they were people with something in common with me, and probably with you: they realized that hands are marvelous. Hands help make things that animals cannot make, including art on cave walls. I stare at my hands quite often. They're very ordinary hands, they show their age with ropey veins and liver spots, they look a bit gnarled, my finger nails are not things of beauty. But, my gosh, they're typing right now. They know where the letters are, they can play the piano, they can open child-proof bottle caps and sew buttons or fancy beads on a shirt, and so on and on and on. Seems to me if Neanderthals had the sensitivity to understand the magic of hands, they couldn't have been all that stupid. We now know the Neanderthal genes got mixed with the homo sapiens genes -- which may make the Romeo and Juliet story one of the oldest in the world -- so quite possibly most of us have a little Neanderthal in us.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!