Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Forgive You

Do you remember that day?

It was just like today. It was Spring - sunny, but still a bit breezy. Mom brought you outside. I knew exactly what she was going to do, so I went with her.

We talked about those fantastic peaches we used to get off our old peach tree. How juicy they were, how delicious, and how numerous. We couldn't believe such a fruitful tree could be destroyed by an overgrowth of Lamb's Ear! We had the damn tree for so long, even dad got to enjoy the peaches when he was alive.

We sat there over a pot of soil, just like we used to do when I was a child. It was a beautiful moment. We prayed together over the soil as we dropped in the last remaining seeds from the fruit of that tree that she had secretly been saving. As we placed the soil, so carefully, over each one of you with our blessings and all our hopes to share in your fruit once again I had a morose realization - Mom didn't believe she would ever have one of your peaches.

Do you remember what happened next?

She thanked me for helping her, she gave me a kiss and, weakly, rose to her feet to go back inside. Then we were alone - you and I. I bent back down, real close and I told you, "Prove her wrong!" (I told God, too, but He is not a part of today's conversation). And then I asked you for something much simpler, "Just give her hope... just sprout for her."

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

I'm asking because it seems my requests fell on deaf ears. Not only did all five of you lay dormant throughout her suffering, but you continued to lie lifeless in the ground when I needed hope in the days, weeks, months and years after Mom died. As if it was not enough to go to the cemetery to visit both my parents in the ground, I then had to have my heart broken again each time I would squint into that pot, remember that day and see that there lay death as well.

For a long time I was angry with you. You, too, abandoned me and my family. But lately I had stopped thinking of you all together. Of course, as this is the unpredictable play of life, it was today, when you were far from my thoughts, that I found you.
As I selected a neglected pot in my backyard to use its soil to contribute to the beautiful life cycle of earth in my first ever compost bin, there you were... all five of you. Once I stumbled upon the first one, my hands instinctively knew where to pluck the others. Not one of you had moved. Not one of you had changed. And not one of you had a single sign of life. And yet...

I forgive you.

Your turn to watch ME grow.
Here's why:

No matter how delicious your fruit might have been, I understand now, that, to me, they would forever taste bittersweet (I imagine you knew that already). 

Your presence in the pot, for much longer than it should have, gave me hope.

    Perhaps most importantly:

    Your lack of growth shall never steal the times or memories I gardened with my mother, shared fruit with my family or laughed under a tree. But planting you that day with Mom did remind me how important each of those little things are.

      This post was written for a RemembeRED Prompt. This week's prompt is about forgiveness.


      1. What heartfelt emotion! I loved your comparison of hope with the seeds of that peach tree.

      2. I felt your hope, your disappointment, and your understanding through these simple words of yours. I can see the old peach tree, see and taste the peaches, as well. The imagery was beautiful in its simplicity.

        The bullets at the end threw me off a little, I would have rather seen them written out like the rest of your story, but that could be personal preference.

        I really liked that at the end you discovered how they really had given you hope all this time. You conveyed that very well.

      3. Thank you both!

        Stephanie, I think I agree about the bullets. I had some reservations about them at first, but in "traditional blogging" (is there such a thing??) they seem to work really well for most readers. I think, in the future, I will keep them out of my posts for any writing memes, as they are not tools I typically use in my writing. Thanks for the input!!

        ...I'll probably take them out of this post too at the end of the week! (I want to keep the post as-is for the week of concrit!)

      4. Nice... I never expected to read a forgiveness piece directed at peach tree seeds. I love the unexpected! I was having visions of Medea during that first paragraph. Not quite sure where it was going, which made the realization that you were talking to an inanimate object that much sweeter.

        "I bent back down, real close and I told you, "Prove her wrong!" (I told God, too, but He is not a part of today's conversation)." - love this line. What an image. I go there with you. And the aside is perfect.

        The lessons at the end are great, but "Your presence in the pot, for much longer than it should have, gave me hope." seems a little strangely worded - like there is a word missing have.

        Really solid work. Well done!


      5. This was so powerful, the way that you wove your emotion, your parents' deaths, your pleas and the cycle of life.

        I followed your ups and downs, anger, acceptance and understanding.

        This part made me teary: "Your lack of growth shall never steal the times or memories I gardened with my mother, shared fruit with my family or laughed under a tree."

        You're right. Your memories are your own. You own those.

      6. I really like your take on the prompt! So interesting to speak to and forgive those seeds!

        Visiting from TRDC ;-)

      7. I really enjoyed this post. I liked the whispers to the seeds mixing with the narrative and the way you spoke to them.

        I agree about the bullets. They took me out of the post a bit. But the rest flowed beautifully. There was an easy rhythm that I truly enjoyed.

      8. i loved this. what a well done response to the prompt, and so different from the others Ive read. I love when someone shows me a new way to express!

      9. Thank you, everyone, for your responses! The bullets are going to come out today as they are finally driving me completely nuts!!

        I had so many ideas swirling in my head about who I was going to write my forgiveness post about and then, in the instant that I took the picture of that seed in my hand, I felt an overwhelming wave of forgiveness. I was SO angry with those seeds for so long and in my hand it looked so pathetic, so little... this post seemed to write itself because those emotions and the forgiveness was so FRESH.

        I am grateful for the prompt's timing that I was able to have such a cathartic writing experience. :)

      10. This is beautiful. I'm sorry for the loss of your parents and am glad that you have the comfort of beautiful memories. I love the discussion with the peach seeds...I anthropomorphize plants too.