I want to hold your hand*

Tears well up .  My chest aches with yearning.  A warm prickle moves up my arms. My lifelong dream is carrying me away…

My dream may have started from memories of wandering in the hills with my Dad.  At 8 years old I was thrilled to learn the names of the wildflowers.  “That’s a Filaree”, he said, as he knelt and handed me a tiny purple flower.

He reached for my hand and we walked in the early morning sun.  The birds sang,  The water rushing through the irrigation ditch played the background music.

Or the memory of walking along the sidewalk shaded by the huge maples.  Roots raised the squares of concrete creating an obstacle course for my two-year-old daughter.  As she began to topple over, I reached for her tiny hand.   The vise-like grip on my finger was soft and warm.    She looked up at me, trusting me to lead her safely.

Or the feel of my father’s bones through his soft skin as I held his hand because at 95 he still wanted to go into the grocery store with me.  We would wander through the bright oranges and apples as he searched for Medjool Dates.

Or the innocent days of sixth grade playground.  Back in the days when it was still elementary school and we played in small groups at the edges of the paved area. The younger children called out to each other on the jungle gym and the teeter-totter. Some days we sat in the swings twisting our feet in desultory movement as we discussed who was “holding hands” with whom.  It was extreme romance.

So, is my dream the companionship? The trust? The caring? The romance?

Exactly! I want it all.

I want to hold hands with my friends.  In small Italian villages the mature women walk in the evening promenade.  They hold hands discussing (I suppose) their day, their husbands, their troublesome children and their workaday lives.

I want to hold hands with my children and grandchildren.  In Asia, in France and in Mexico I see the teenage girls holding hands with their mothers.  They walk to church together, probably discussing their dreams and how nice it is to have a morning off.  The young men hold the hand of their grandmothers.  They may be talking about the job he wants, the girl he loves or the garden she would like to weed.

My daydreams are of walking with the man I love.  I want to meander, to stroll and to keep an easy pace with him.  I want to smile and talk about our family, our lives and our joys.  We’ll look at flowers and watch the children and animals in their yards. We’ll save our problems for another time. We’ll hold hands.


*Beatle song written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon


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