Just Life

Sunday Selfie | Sense of Touch.

I’ve joined a Sunday school class this season for an opportunity to dig a little deeper into Dickens’ A Christmas Carol; we’re reading The Redemption of Scrooge. Today’s discussion focused on chapter two, The Remembrance of Christmas Past and how Christmas memories – and more generally our past – shape our today and tomorrow. I’m the youngest member of class, by at least 15 years!?!, and I enjoyed the stories of WWII-era childhood Christmases. 

We only had an hour, so maybe that’s why we didn’t get to one of my favorite parts of the chapter. The author talks about how many of our memories are centered around our senses – the sights, sounds, smells and tastes … but “probably the most underrated sense during the Christmas season is the sense of touch.” (p. 68) He then introduces a “touch inventory”. What have my hands been doing all week? What is the thing I’ve most often touched?

Shades of brown and gray at my kitchen counter
…of course, I thought about knitting. Yarn and knitting needles are probably what my hands touch most.
But when I started thinking about all the things my hands have been doing this week – wow! – it’s a long list. My phone, computer keys, food (I’m eating popcorn as I type this), mugs and glasses, dishes, soap and water, towels, clothing, bedding, mail (birthday cards!), a pen and paper, books, Holly, people (Marc, Katie, girlfriends, friends at church), my drivers license and car key, a credit card and even a little bit of cash … and the list could go on and on.
I don’t often think about the sense of touch as a blessing, but beyond that, how easy it is to count my blessings when I list those things I touch. and as Thanksgiving week begins, I’m looking forward to touching more family and friends, getting up close and personal with a turkey and a few sides … and my knitting.
What are you looking forward to touching this week?

12 Comments

  • Kym

    I am always so grateful for my hands and fingers . . . because they DO so much and touch so much every day. Thanks for this nice reminder as we head into Thanksgiving week! XO

  • HonorĂ©

    I couldn't imagine that knitting would not be on your list…which was fun and it's amazing how much and what we touch in the course of a day… To the list, I also add: how your generous spirit, concern and gift for sharing stories touches so many lives,. Thank you for sharing yours with us.
    Cheers~

  • Debbie

    In our study group we talked about touch this week too, not in relation to Dickens, but in relation to the parable of the talents, using our senses to nourish & promote growth & goodness. When I think of touch, I think of people, and all the people I have touched during my 35 year career as a nurse, it is humbling.

  • Vera

    When you stop for a memento to take stock/inventory, it is amazing how much we touch…and how littLe we think about it. A great prompt!

  • Bonny

    I might have to take a look at that book, or at least reread Christmas Carol. (I see the author has also written "The Salvation of Dr. Who". That's a different title!) My sil and I just had a conversation about touch; she's a family practice physician and thinks that at least half of her patients want to simply be able to tell their story and be touched more than anything. I'm looking forward to touching a glass of wine and my knitting as soon as I'm done writing this!

  • AsKatKnits

    This is really an interesting post! And, one that has me thinking! I have touched many things this week: Bells, music, knitting (of course) needle and thread, Sherman, food, and yes – people. And, while I enjoy so many things on this list – the people part is the best thing to touch. It certainly is the one thing you touch that touches back. Thanks for this pause in my day!

  • Penny

    I think our sense of touch is very important. I've been missing mine due to a burn that is now thankfully healing. I'm looking forward to touching my daughter this week – it has been a while since I've seen her. : )

  • margene

    Thank you for writing so eloquently on "touch inventory" and how it translates to your grateful list. When I had trouble with my hands and could do more than leave them in my lap, I missed using them, making dinner, knitting, typing, holding a phone–most things that keep me in touch with the world were hard to do. I am grateful the ability to use my hands has returned and you have captured many of my feelings in your post.

  • Patty

    I'm looking forward to touching and hugging family and to touching reading material and yarn in the wonderful relaxing days that follow Thanksgiving. And am I a day late? Happy Birthday Mary!

  • karen

    the Sunday school class sounds intriguing and thought provoking. I do so much with my hands as well and take all of it for granted. When I had to wear a wrist brace last year I was amazed at how much I could not do!! I prefer no hand brace.