A Anato Swu
Satakha town Zunheboto
Coarse and wrinkled are my mother's hands today, but oh, they were soft and smooth when they first held and welcomed the newest arrival into the family with great joy. They made instant connection from the moment the baby boy let out his first cry. Just a touch, and a new journey began for a mother and her new-born child. Their story was scripted even before the child was conceived.
I am that baby boy and my mother's hands have been busy tending to my needs and guiding me ever since I arrived into this world. As versatile as they were, her hands seem to have a soul of their own that would find its way even in the dark to where my cries was emanating from.
Her hands would stay busily engaged throughout the day- to feed, bathe and play with her baby boy, then they would, from time-to-time, fold in reverence as she offered her humble prayers to God. When my cries rang out at night, her hands would reach out to feel, address the cause and make sure that I was rested in peace again. Gently would she rock my cradle till I was sound asleep.
It was her hands that instilled confidence in me to stand and take my first baby steps, after months of protecting me as I crawled unaware of dangers that lurked around me; they would continue to protect and guide me as I grow.
On my first day of primary (Class A) her hands would have fed, washed, dressed and combed my hair, then half-walked, half-carried me to school. Knowing how attached I was to her, I must have cried, preferring to stay in her bosom instead of being led into a new world full of new faces...The routine would continue, but not the cries, for I would have got used to it.
Over the years, her hands would labour in the fields uprooting the weeds, so that her crops may grow healthily and without any competition from unyielding plants. The works of her hands would supplement our family's livelihood. At home, her hands would wash and cook to keep her children clean and well-fed. The coming and passing of seasons brought no change in the nature and manner of her ever-active hands. Summer would find her hands engaged in field works besides doing household chores. Come winter and her hands would be busy weaving and knitting...all her efforts aimed at lessening the burden of a family with 8 fast-growing children.
It was her hands that knitted my first sweater which I would proudly wear to school, church and to events. When she stitched my first coat using pieces of old clothes, I wore it happily and wondered if my "coat of many patches' was similar to Joseph's 'coat of many colours'.
As years passed by, I learnt how to hold and use spade and machete by watching how her hands would hold them and put them to work.
Her hand never held a pen, but she penned the finest poetries and prose with her toils for her children to learn and recite from their hearts.
Her hand never held a paintbrush, but she painted the finest masterpiece with her life for us to emulate and create our own masterpieces.
Rugged and scarred are my mother's hands today; every scar tells a story of a woman who learned to cope with hardships of life and overcome every adversity that she faced.
The same hands had held me like a fragile gem on my arrival at the Scene. They have taken care to protect and polish IT with much love and prayers.
Unbeknown to her, she is the gem of our family that scintillates with the LIGHT and brightens up our lives. So lovingly and beautifully made, she is so precious in the sight of God.
Sometimes, I'd think that God must have spent a little more time creating my beloved mother.
The hands that used to rock my cradle and lull me to blissful sleep still rock my life and guide my steps in this, our one-way journey called LIFE.