I have a quirk. (Or a feature depending on how you want to look at it.) I have a fragile pinkie. It's been broken a few times. (Twice by soccer, and once by volleyball.) The last break was kind of serious, and while my finger still works...it's...well...fragile.
It aches when it's cold. I have to budget how much I use it when I play violin. I have a difficult time with the classic interlaced finger configuration displayed by twiterpated couples (that's a Bambie reference for those less Disney-inclined). And if we're saying grace as a family and I'm next to a firm-hand-holder, I readjust our hold so that my pinkie is outside of the grip. It just can't take it.
A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to have a designated hand-holder. It didn't take him long to automatically readjust and accommodate my little quirk. In fact, he would keep a lookout for any silent cues that I was hurting and would reach out and cradle my hand with his. That winter, my little pinkie was looked after, held, protected, and warmed. It was glorious. I remember that season every time my hands get cold and my little finger let's me know it's still there and still quirky.
This year, the arrival of cold weather has me thinking: It's not just pinkies that can be fragile. We all have places that are sensitive. Where we've been hurt and patched. Where we have to budget how just much pressure and strain that area is allowed to bear. Where we're just plain quirky.
This is my challenge to myself: To think of myself as a designated hand-holder. To look out for the broken pinkies of those around me. To keep an eye out for silent cues that they're hurting, that maybe they've had enough stress or strain for one day, or maybe just that the cold weather is getting to them. To readjust my thoughts and actions so that they are cradled, held, protected, and warmed.
Wouldn't that just be glorious?