The days are growing longer. I feel them stretch out beneath me and winter yawns. When I drive to work in the mornings, light comes too; I drive into the sun’s slow rise. My crocuses have poked sleepy faces through their covers; the earth awakens in her bed. I feel the deep quiver, the thaw dripping into the belly of the inner core.
I have been thinking about forgiveness.
Forgiveness—the deep sigh of the soul, that letting go of bitter, the love that opens arms wide.
I’ve thought about it all week–ever since Bonnie said to—turned it around and around in my mind, twisted it, wrung out the tears and hung it up to dry. It’s been blowing in the breeze of my thoughts, whispering a collection of memories, asking the question.
Those old particular aches blow by. I grow weary of remembering. Little girl lost, the smell of alcohol and cigarettes, the bad touching, the let down, afraid. So boring–the breaking of a family, betrayal, loss of the little bit that mattered lots. Butterscotch pudding and trees disappearing with friends and life went on and the neighbor kids in town broke into our house and ate all of our popsicles. There were wrapping papers all over the lawn. What it means to be loved came in the form of a deceiver and I relived all the same mistakes of my parents.
My son won second place in the county math field day competition tonight and I wonder how it would feel to him if I wasn’t there to see him smile his math whiz smile. But no…really I don’t– I don’t wonder, I know. But now I also know how it feels to be here—to see this piece of me with two legs and red hair grow into something so amazing. I know how it feels to love him so much my heart might burst. I know…I know what they missed.
I feel such compassion for that loss because…because it is so close to being everything. This love teaches me what it means to be loved.
Anger used to be the fuel that kept me going. They should have known better. They should have loved me more. They should have…
I should have.
I should not have.
It is raining tonight when I let the dogs out. I stand on the porch in my pajamas and wrap around myself. As I wrap me up in these flimsy arms I remember something my youngest said when he was only small.
Mommy, did you know that when you hug yourself, you are giving God a hug? He said. We were lying on his bed in the dark. Prayers said. Waiting for sleep to take hold.
I never really thought about it like that before, I said back.
It’s true, you know, because He’s always here.
I wrap my arms around myself in the dark. The rain is soaking through to my skin but I am breathless with the thought that within this body is something holy.
He’s always here.
Yet, I walk around on these feet, unaware most moments.
The Holy Spirit lives in me. This Person of the Trinity dwells within this flesh and blood.
Is there no greater mystery than this?
I’m hugging myself tonight, that I might touch God. And I know that forgiveness will only be complete when I am able to forgive myself. I wrap my arms around Creator-God, and I am wrapped in the arms of heaven. I am forgiven.
And so I forgive.
I’m jamming with Bonnie today–just a wee bit late, but that’s just me. Join us?