The holidays have healed my hands, which were chronically cracked open with chores, then stained by wood ash when I smoked the last batch of bacon and ham.
They were awful – sore and ugly. No amount of lotion, or soaking and scrubbing, brought improvement.
Rest has healed them. Cutting leaf lard for 2014’s soap, and cooking up a few batches of salve in a mini crock pot, have also helped. Salve is an especially underrated healer.
This house has long held a few tins of old carbo salve which got slowly used up over the years. The last batch of salve I made was mostly olive oil warmed slowly with various herbs from the farm, including some wild gum plant.
Extra virgin coconut oil, mango butter and shaved bees were added to this almost oil tea. Once this was translucent, I took it off the heat and stirred in tea tree oil before pouring into salve tins and a tiny glass jar.
Upon rising, and before bed, my cracked feet were treated to a generous rub with salve, and then quickly covered in fresh, thick socks. My feet have healed too.
Another switch I made over the holidays was to wear gloves when washing floors or dishes, and this too has likely helped the healing. Enjoying these lovely appendages, I have no desire to go back to the way things were.
For the inner pain, of course, I turned to music but quickly gave up on the guitar and ordered baritone ukuleles for my eldest daughter and myself. Admittedly, although I practice a few times a day, I still sound like hell on the ukulele, but it’s so much fun!
Recently I could almost hear the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and called my two youngest in for a mini-concert. While I checked the strings for tuning, they started fighting and I kicked them out of my bedroom and continued practicing.
While I was busy, Farmer helped Princess spell “please,” which she printed across a piece of paper, above a drawing of Mom strumming her uke. Farmer grinned as I was presented with this plea from the peanut gallery.
The music in me comes out in painful baby steps, reiniscent of elementary band concerts at which I’ve asked myself: “Why are we clapping?”
I must believe. Once the noise clears, it will all sound better.