He was outside as he often is on warm sunny days, digging, planting jasmine for me. I came out to be with him for a bit. Grabbing an empty five-gallon bucket I flipped it over and sat. He enjoys when I come out to say “hello” and we fell into the ease of being together. I sat and watched him, the sun warm and comforting over my left shoulder. Dots of conversation budded amidst the sound of the shovel carving out the home for the jasmine.
I do not remember what we talked about or how it happened but longing awakened in me. A deep and gentle ache for amends and repair. I planted grace in that hole left by the wound so long ago. Grace was easy because I know his heart. His heart is good. But today, and maybe for many days, that plant called grace was thirsty for the water of “I’m sorry.” With the courage of vulnerability I took him to the garden of my heart and showed him the tender plant.
He put his shovel down, came to me, and knelt on one knee. He took my soft hand, his calloused fingers intertwined with mine. His sorrowful gaze held my tear-filled eyes; He saw that fragile plant, fighting for life in the parched earth it grew in.
His words, filled with remorse, drop by drop fell over me like gentle rain. He confessed his own brokenness and lamented for the wound he caused. The dry, cracked earth around the tiny plant called grace soften with each word, soon it was saturated no longer dry and cracked. The plant called grace drank deeply and was satisfied. Nourished with the water of repentance it bloomed. The flower of forgiveness burst open, as if it’s beauty had been eagerly awaiting to reveal itself. It’s fragrance surrounded us with sweetness. We breathed deeply of its perfume while our gaze held for an eternal moment. Letting go of my hand he reached up and with his thumb gently brushed away the tear that lay motionless on my cheek. I smiled at him, leaning my face into the curve of his hand and whispered, “thank you.” Bending forward he planted a tender kiss on my forehead.
He stood and took my hand again helping me up. We kissed. As I walked back to the house I could hear the sounds of him lifting the jasmine and placing it in the home he had made for it. And then the squeak, squeak, squeak of him turning on the hose.