“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
The next installment of my Kimberley Story…
The night that I sat up by the campfire with Auntie I knew I was making choices. I knew I was making decisions that would affect the rest of my life. I just didn’t know what I was really getting into. If I had, perhaps I may have chosen differently.
I’d endured a huge argument with my partner when I finally went back to our room. He couldn’t understand why I had spent so long sitting in the dirt with an old, barefoot aboriginal woman. I couldn’t explain it myself. It was the beginning of a distance between us that would eventually end the relationship.
Weeks went by, out in my remote corner of the Outback. After Auntie came to visit me I tried to shrug off the sense of foreboding and concentrate on my work, and on trying to be ‘normal’. I know she had asked me to come visit her up in her country, but I felt uncomfortable to go.
Soon though, she sent a delegation. One Saturday morning Little Auntie and Grandmother turned up at our Cattle Station; two old ladies chauffeured in the Aboriginal Stockman’s brother’s big old red truck.
The Stockman came and banged on my door. “Auntie send some women for you. She bin watching you. You come have tea with dem.” It was an order, rather than a request.
It was a quiet time – the weekend – and I had two days off. My partner was away, working. All I had been doing was lying on my bed, reading a book. I could hardly say no.
Little Aunty was one of the tiniest women I had ever seen. She was perhaps four feet tall, stooped and leathery, with fragile-looking wrists, impossibly thin legs and birdlike eyes. I can’t say how old she was. Definitely in her seventies. But she could have been in her eighties or even older. It was hard to tell. And I was younger then, and not so observant of these things.
Grandmother was a stocky woman in her sixties, with a broad waist and hips, an ample bosum and a tremendous laugh. Her curly black hair was shot through with silver, and she spoke good English. Little Aunty had no English at all.
I made a pot of strong tea, and at the Stockman’s request brought a tin of condensed milk and a plate of cake with me, and I met the women outside the dining room, where they had gathered some plastic chairs under a tree. It was just the three of us, sitting in the deep shade on a stinking hot day.
“Why are you here?” I asked. “Did Auntie really send you?”
They both smiled and ignored me.
We ate some cake, and drank the tea, made thick and sweet with the condensed milk. Little Auntie smacked her lips together in appreciation, oblivious to the flies that crawled all over us. She hooked one finger and scooped a fly out of her tea and kept on drinking.
Finally Grandmother looked at me, all business. “Show me dem hands,” she said.
I held them out to her, and while Grandmother took my hands by the wrists Little Auntie scooped up some red dirt in her own hands and rubbed it vigorously into mine.
Then Little Auntie took my hands and held them loosely in her tiny ones. She poured over them, pressing her thumb into the palm of my hand and the fleshy mound below my thumb. She turned them this way and that, tracing the lines with a grubby thumbnail. While she did this she made funny little clicking sounds with her tongue. The longer she held my hands the warmer they became.
“You feel dat?” Grandmother asked, coolly observing my every move.
“Yes,” I said. “My hands are hot.” But they weren’t simply hot, they were burning and tingling and it felt like ants were crawling all over them.
Grandmother just nodded. Then she made a small grass fire and placed some green gum leaves in it to make smoke. The two old women passed my hands back and forth in the fragrant smoke. Little Auntie would sniff my hands and feel them, and then back they would go into the smoke. Finally she was satisfied.
Little Auntie’s eyes were glistening and happy with a kind of pure child-like joy. She said something that sounded like a curdled sigh. Grandmother laughed and then turned to me, smiling.
“You know dat ting in dem hands of yours?” Grandmother said. “It come from your grandmother, from your grandfather, from your people way way back. All dem ancestors. It in you now, dat power. In you forever. No give him back. Okay?”
I don’t know why, but my eyes filled up with tears. I felt the connection deep in my heart, and it made me feel so much less alone.
Behind us the station workers began to file in to the dining room for lunch. I flinched under their gaze, exposed and vulnerable. I didn’t want them to see what we had been doing. Even though it probably didn’t look like anything at all. But it was SOMETHING to me – something significant, something so unexpected and raw and wild and strong.
I longed to soar up into the sky. I craved to dive into the deepest ocean. But I sat on my chair in the shade, and asked if I could get these ladies some lunch or some more tea.
“No,” said Grandmother. “We walk a lil bit now. You come too.”
So I fetched my hat and my sunglasses and we went down to the river. Little Auntie found me a craggy raw agate, rimmed with bright carnelian, and pressed it into my hands, placing it between my palms and then squeezing my hands tight against the stone.
“Dat fella good for you. Good for dat magic,” said Grandmother.
It’s the first crystal I ever felt the energy of – and it remains one of my most treasured possessions.
That was the day my hands were activated. And Grandmother was right. I can’t turn the power off. I can’t give it back. And I don’t want to anymore, anyway…
PS: If you’d like to work with activating your own hand chakras try these posts: