My Father had a magic hand. He used it most frequently at dinnertime. Often on meatless Friday meals when the common fare might be lima beans on toast or similar. By Friday my Mother had had enough of my antics and I had had enough of the compromise expected of children, so coming to the table of beans was a tipping point as my Father sat to my right and my Mother directly opposite me.
My Father worked a factory job, up and out by 4:30 am, five days a week. He was a man who cherished peace. My Mother craved hot peepers while she was carrying me – need I say more? In those days we were quite often at odds and sitting eye to eye at dinner was not one of our better moments.
When emotions would reach a tipping point, up came the hand. I don’t remember when it began. I don’t remember any words associated with it. But when the hand came to my face and passed in front of my eyes and moved down, slowly, never touching me, I would begin to smile.
It was as if he washed away my anger. It never failed. He was teaching me how transient were these emotions of frustration and derision, and by helping me change, he empowered me. He opened a door to a more compelling nature inside of me. That comforting place has remained my solace and my guide and continues to grow deeper as I tend to it.
Now there are lots of people willing to explain this all away with talk of energy, psychology, etc. But I can tell you it was, and is, quite simply Love.