My Mother’s Hands

9 11 2017

I inherited my mother’s hands. I got my father’s short and stocky build, but I’ve got the long, tapered fingers with strong nails from my mom. I’ve always considered my hands my best physical feature.


I’m at the beach now to recharge and refuel from a busy summer. I’ve completed a solid draft of my book, Growing Your Creativity. A key component of the book is to do things outside your comfort zone. I’ve enjoyed watching the Para gliders on the beach from my condo balcony, but doing something outside your comfort zone can be much smaller. These small or large nudges allow you to look at something differently and it feeds your creativity.

This vacation is about doing as little as possible. Giving myself a manicure fell into that category. At the store to pick up some essentials, I look at the nail polish. I’m ready to wear a color I’ve never worn before. No reds, no pinks, no tans. I reach for blue because I’m at the beach. Then I notice a blue that’s sparkly. I love sparkly things. Without more thought I put the polish in the basket.

It’s November and still delightfully warm at this Gulf Coast beach. I sit on the condo balcony where I’ve watched the sun rise and cast her white blue, soft pink, pale yellow where the sky meets open water and the snow white sand.

I’m unreasonably excited about putting on the new polish. My sweetie almost pretends he’s interested. I put on the first coat and I’m so disappointed. It’s almost clear and you hardly can notice it. I wanted bold color that looked foreign on my hand. So I keep putting on layers of polish. I stop at four coats to sip my evening cocktail.

As the light changes I notice the new color on my nails change too. It looks like I have opals on my fingernails. The iridescent colors shift with the light. There are soft whites, pale shimmery blues, pale pinks and creamy glitters. I have the colors of autumn at the beach on my hands.

I’m unexpectedly warmed by a memory of my mother. We loved the girlyness of doing our own manicures. We shared our favorite nail polishes. My Mom’s nails were generally fire engine red, but I know she would have loved this color. She was always on top of fashion trends.

I’ve been coming to this beach since I was a child. There are high rises where there once were sand dunes. But the light has remained the same. Iridescent.

By nudging myself out of my comfort zone I’ve been brought back to the luminescent comfort of my past.

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7 responses

9 11 2017
Juanita McGregor

Your wonderful words brought a shimmering glow to a gray day, not a bad one, one just waiting for illumination. Polish that takes its cue from our surroundings….maybe those of use who apply it could learn a thing or two.

9 11 2017

Thanks Juanita, today is gray and a cold front has moved in. It’s just a different color palette!

9 11 2017

Lovely story Connie, thank you for writing such a tender memory of your mom. P.S. It’s been years, but I do remember your beautiful and well-manicured hands!

9 11 2017

Awwwww! Thanks!

10 11 2017

I always love what your write….I can’t wait to read your book.

10 11 2017

Thanks and I can’t wait to read yours. We should talk since we’re both first timers.

10 11 2017

Yes, we should. I’d love to hear about your process and I think you mentioned a focus group, which I’d love to know more about. Are you going through an agent, or doing self-publishing, etc, etc, etc. I’ll send my phone/email through Facebook messenger – ring me when you get a minute or two to talk.

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