On Forgiveness

A Lesson in Forgiveness

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I see it. A tiny button of moss on the black stone with two ragged bits of leaf right in the center: the tallest one not more than two inches high, the other just a tiny beginning with only four leaves. The button of moss (about the size of a wool winter coat button) is at the crossroads of two seams in the rock. Barely enough moisture gathers along these small slits to feed the moss and bits of grey lichen flowering further along the stone-cracks.

Given my morning ‘assignment’ from the land, I’ve been searching for the place that would offer me teachings on ‘forgiveness.’

This is the site: small, precise, and articulate in ways I can sense but have yet to discover. Settling down beside a pool of dark water, I tune in to listen….

Immediately, I hear the question, “Where are you relative to forgiveness regarding your relationship with Dmitri?”

I do not have to look too far. Seeing the lines in the stone radiating out from the moss, I feel the grief in my heart. I see the shatteredness of his state and feel the brokenness of my own heart. Unable to move from this broken state into forgiveness, I almost want to turn away from the scene. I could weep and gnash my thoughts endlessly, but I know I am here to face and learn about the possibility of forgiveness—for what I have not provided for him, the many missed moments of gentleness, loving attention and education…. Oh, stone and moss, what can you teach me?

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The shattering lets the stone hold water that feeds the lichen and moss. A polished stone, impervious, denies these lives their home. Look at the life growing along the shattered lines…

I notice a large bloom of lichen where two thin channels join at the edge of brief wet pools. Blooms of lichen, a thin wedge of moss and a tuft of grass live in other channels.

Without the shattering, life would have to search for another nest, another place to realize itself. The new life in the shattered places IS the forgiveness, the act borne over time, with complete acceptance of the ‘failed’ or altered state.

Forgiveness opens the cracks still further, eroding the shattered, broken seams into ever deeper channels of possibility. What humans miss is the willingness to let the shattering bear new life, to let forgiveness be an act of openness to the many forms of life that would take root there.

Your life with Dmitri is measured in value by your attention to the bits of moisture that come to you bearing the seeds, the start of something new. Forgiveness is the act of holding the transforming state, from shatteredness to the welcoming of whatever enters these opened spaces. Being a host to life is the work of forgiveness. Scrubbing the rock clear every day to keep it unchanged and uncontaminated prevents the blossoming of forgiveness over time.

You notice the button of moss and the patches of lichen, the beginning footholds of tiny grasses, and more… At a certain point, there is more to witness and celebrate in the new life than in the shock of the shattered state. When this occurs, you know forgiveness is present and active. Celebrating and caring for the new life is the focus of your heart-work now.