Caressing hope I stumble from within. Such a glittering shiny thing this faded jewel, even now.
But just like the majesty of the rose, hope too has her thorns. I buried my face in her fragrance for as long as I can remember. She lifted me and taught me patience for her.
As she grew, I grew. And many times, I confess, I plucked her from her stem long before she was ready. But not before her precious seedlings made their way to the soil of my life. Dry, rocky, but once nourished and fertile, which I watered with every ounce of inspiration I could find. Even attempting to will my soil to remember its once fertile luster.
But I did not understand. Hope being a direct descendant of faith, can be broken, defeated and destroyed. It can even come to withering powder, like the petals of a flower dusting the earth and carried away with the wind. Really, this is what is commonly referred to as a reality check.
How many times have we all tried to mend a most treasured object with glue? Even though whenever we look at it or handle it gingerly, from that moment forward it will forever still be broken. You can’t put petals back once they are died off the stem. Well, some people have I suppose and proceeded to call it art. But in the potpourri of all the broken things in my life it has not been art, even though I watered with tears in hope of not art, but worth. A flurry of glittering beauty that always remained precious even though they all came to be broken.
As I look back on my life in truth, I can see these pieces whole, even though they are but a beautiful glimmering mutilated mess winking up at me in hope. And now the soil in me is no longer able to render fresh seeds. A sad story for my little hope garden.
Years of taking life experiences and willing them to forge and cultivate the person I am, in hope of being whole, well rounded and strong. Even hoping beyond hope I would be of some value to others. Using pieces that don’t seem to fit together to create something from the nothing they would be, if I had not attempted to fuse. Perhaps in refusal to give up hope I did this.
I inherited broken. But because it was seemingly gifted to me that way, I did not see broken. It is only now as I handle these worn pieces inside me and watch them bleed my heart from hope that I understand. The stories and the reasons behind all of these relentless metaphors, are far too lengthy to explain here, but I'll say this.
We look out our windows in hope of seeing something. We have children in hope of sharing and having more love or legacy. We light candles with hope for light and in hopes of honoring lost loved ones. We eat in hopes to fill ourselves and nourish our bodies for health. We learn, we listen and we cry, we work, we love, we heal and we even change all for the sake of hope. The list goes on. I write this in hope.
Writing this is likely one of the most selfish things I have ever done. How dare I dissect hope in a time when our culture is teetering on a hope for hope it self. To expose my own dried up garden when a collective consciousness is hungry for the bounty of a well tended and thriving one. I can only give my own truth as my feeble and humble excuse. It is a last rendering from my victory garden that survived the wars of my life thus far. This singular seed is called forgiveness.
Like drops of wine, this nectar came from my flowers once full in hope. Even after they dried and came to dust, forgiveness was left in bounty to nourish me when anything I ever loved was lost to me. Through countless horrors and hardships, loss and personal torment. When ever I permitted myself to sup on the essence of forgiveness, hope was restored to me. This is how I was able to survive and now it is my gift to give.
The beginning of a new year is always filled with a chance for new hope. A chance to start again or continue on healing.
My only hope is stored up in all of things I have been able to find forgiveness for. My life cannot survive without it and every moment is work.
Undertaking the task of forgiveness is lifelong and endless. Like pulling unforgiving weeds. They are constant, seem to come out of nowhere and can suffocate the life out of even a well tended garden. I have had to furiously force it from within me and through me. Learning to recognize when it is required and forgiving even when it isn't. Finding out, forgiveness is the glue, the mender of hope and the difference between false hope and the miracle of pure hope.
I understood this when I forgave the flowers that died and planted again. I forgave the dry soil and tilled. I am learning to forgive myself for my past peril and the hurt I have caused others. In not knowing what to do next when hope seems remote, I forgive myself for hopes loss and hope it will forgive me back.
Whatever else is leftover can all only be restored in what I can muster to tend to next in my garden. I wish I could say that forgiveness comes easier in time or with practice, but it does not. But I can say the bigger the blooms of hope restored in me, there are as many precious pearls of forgiveness in equal measure. I can also say the moments I was able to bury my face in the blooms, it was sustaining for long periods of time. I can say, when I was filled with it, others around me seem to be too.
It is winter and my weary plot seems buried under ice. Perhaps the spring will reveal what was left there waiting to grow wild. But for now, I'm willing my words and the essence of the music I hear, to manage my heart and return hope back to my garden and bloom in forgiveness once more for the thorns.