【雙語散文】寬恕之園

GARDEN OF FORGIVENESS
Gerard Traub 李樹人譯
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【大紀元5月8日訊】在梅德福克鎮的附近,有一座鬱鬱蔥蔥的鄉間花園。一個晴朗的春日下午,年輕的麥克來到這裡探訪他的未婚妻。

  通常,如果沒有主人的陪伴,私自闖入別人的花園是非常失禮的。但此時麥克也顧及不了那些禮節了。

  麥克剛從倫敦談完生意回來,就收到愛人克萊麗娜小姐的口信,讓他儘快前來與她相見。

  麥克每天都在思念著克萊麗娜。這種甜美的感覺撫慰著他曾經受傷的心靈。他在生命中第一次感受到愛的力量。愛情像甘醇的美酒,讓他陶醉;又像精緻動人的花朵吸引著他。他深深感到靈魂深處被觸動了。一種力量將他的生命從沉睡中喚醒。

  「克萊麗娜喚醒了我沉睡的心靈。」他喃喃自語著。

  從他初次與克萊麗娜目光接觸的那一刻起,他的生活中就多了一個謎。他感到深藏在自己心靈深處、那種觸摸不到的力量又重新回到他身上。這種力量幾乎在他的童年記憶中永遠消失了。即使後來當他長大了,生活中值得回憶的美好片斷也寥寥無幾。而他現在每時每刻都能感到一種神奇。

  他默默思忖著。這個世界上到底有沒有上帝?他是一位慈愛的造物主,而不應是一個脾氣暴躁的生命,比他父親下手還重,總是低頭俯視著他創造的萬物,隨時準備殘忍的懲罰犯錯的人。

  這就是他父親——霍賽特牧師給他種下的印象。儘管比大多數孩子都更敏感,任何一個孩子,尤其是麥克,都無法逃脫霍賽特牧師讓他們敬神的訓斥。

  「我這樣做是為了讓你變得更堅強,讓你自己獨立做人!」 他父親總是這樣教訓他。

  父親的話非但沒能激發起麥克內心的力量,他反而變得越來越內向。每當父親訓話的時候,一有機會他就從父親身邊溜掉,逃進外面的花園和周圍的森林裡。他會在那裏找回自己內心的平靜,暫時忘卻了自我和生活中的遭遇,獨自沉醉在花草樹木和那片特殊土地上棲息著的昆蟲動物之間。

  當麥克走進他愛人家那座令人神往的花園時,他感覺到有些不對勁。克萊麗娜坐在噴泉旁,靜靜的凝視著剛剛綻開花蕾的玫瑰。真有甚麼事發生了!當他漸漸走近時,克萊麗娜轉過身來,目光迎接著即將成為她丈夫的心上人。

  她美麗的眼睛失去了往日的神采,目光中充滿了他從未見過的憂傷。

  「克萊麗娜,我的心上人,我一直在思念著你!一得到消息,我就馬不停蹄的趕來了。到底發生了甚麼事?」

  「親愛的麥克,前兩天我收到你父親的醫生的一個緊急短信,就趕快通知你趕回來。醫生出門去照看一位親密的朋友了,所以他就讓我把信轉交給你。」

  麥克在心裏作好了最壞的打算。很久以來,他父親的身體一直很不好。莫雷醫生似乎對他父親身體康復很有信心。前不久,麥克剛剛探望過父親,他的病情已有所好轉。

  麥克慢慢的打開了那封信。

  親愛的麥克:
  非常遺憾的通知你,1895年5月11日,你的父親,阿爾伯特.霍賽特牧師回到了主的懷抱。就在兩天前,在主持主日禮拜儀式時,他突然昏倒在地。他不停的念叨著:

  「我的兒子,我兒子在哪兒呢?告訴他,請你告訴他,我為我所做的一切錯事真心的向他道歉。願他在心底裡能夠原諒我!」

  請接受我對你父親辭世的哀悼。因為突然有事,在你需要的時候我卻無法陪在你身邊。我真誠的為此向你致歉。

  願你父靈魂永遠安息。

  節哀!

  克里弗.莫雷醫生

  麥克簡直無法相信這一切。克萊麗娜伸出手來握住他顫抖的雙手。

  「他死了,克萊麗娜。我父親死了!」

  淚水順著他的臉頰淌下來。悲傷和痛苦一起湧上他心頭。他父親真是那樣說的嗎?他真的請求自己的原諒嗎?為甚麼這麼簡單的幾句話他直到最後才說出口?他多麼想親耳聽父親對他講這些話啊!要是他能早點對自己講有多好!

  「麥克,你父親是這樣長大的,所以他就用同樣的方式來教養你們。我真的相信他想盡最大可能做好。我敢說他是用自己的方式在愛著你。很多次,我都注意到他在吃晚餐時從餐桌的另一端看過來,目光裡充滿了自豪。你父親從小到大經歷很坎坷。這你也瞭解。我想他本意是想讓你變得更堅強,去勇敢的面對生活中的起起伏伏。儘管他那顆真誠的心通常是不容易被發現的,但有很多次我都看到它閃閃發光,而且是為你而閃光。」 克萊麗娜說道。

  「那為甚麼他要等這麼久才說出這幾句話呢?」 麥克大聲的提出他的疑問。

  克萊麗娜知道麥克此時希望自己能給他解答心中的困惑。

  「親愛的,人們說人的一生中有三次機會面對真理,即出生,遇到心愛的人和最後去世。很多人在不得不直面死亡之後,才真正正視自己和他人。事實上,你父親在去世前能有機會承認自己的錯誤,我覺得上天已經賜福與你。別人可沒有你這麼幸運!」

  麥克靜靜的聽著。他總是依靠克萊麗娜的智慧去安慰他人,現在他也需要她的慰藉。

  麥克真實的感覺開始表露出來了。他熱愛父親,但總是擔心會受到懲罰,因此,他也不敢向父親說出此意來。如果他能早些表白他的心聲,他與父親的關係或許早就有了轉機。

  「麥克,我理解你此刻的心情。我敢說即使現在也還不晚。語言是有翅膀的,不是嗎?靈魂能夠聽到我們聽不到的聲音。也許,現在你可以說出心裏話,去掉心靈的重擔。天堂的門是永遠敞開的。人無私的一思一念都會得到上天的認可。」

  聽到這裡,麥克一下跪到地上,抬起頭來仰望天空,大聲的說出了多年來一直埋在他心裏的話。

  「親愛的父親,我為過去所做的一切感到非常抱歉。你被上天選中去給別人指引天堂的路。我想你也一直希望能給我指引。父親,請你原諒我一直沒有勇氣對你說我愛你!」

  他的心靈好像敞開一扇門,把他帶到了一片以前從未到過的新天地。忽然之間,從他內心深處昇華起一種祥和的感覺,他的身心都溶化在其中。

  他輕聲抽泣著說:「我愛你,父親!」

  他知道父親從未聽自己對他說過這幾個字,但他一直想親耳聽自己講。克萊麗娜說得對。即使現在也不算晚!麥克似乎感覺到父親就在自己身邊,他也聽到了自己的心聲。

  「麥克!」克萊麗娜指向頭上的一條樹枝。那裏有一只漂亮的鳥兒向下看著他們倆,唱著動人的歌。說話間,它扇動著翅膀向西邊的一塊空地飛去,漸漸消失在夕陽中。

  這是一個訊號。只要我們用心觀察,上天總在給我們啟示。親愛的,你的話已經得到回答。慈愛的上天已將寬恕賜予你和父親。

  不久以後,麥克與克萊麗娜很快就結婚了。他們經常去花園噴泉邊那個特殊的地方,麥克在那裏有生以來第一次感受到了真誠、永久的寬恕之美。

In a lush country garden, near the township of Middlefolk, a young gentleman named Michael came calling on his fiancé one fine spring afternoon.

It was regarded as impolite to enter the garden unescorted, yet formalities were far from his mind this day. He had received word from his beloved, Lady Clarina to meet with her urgently. Michael had just returned home from a business venture in London.

Not a day would go by without the thought of Clarina on his mind, softly soothing his once troubled heart. It was love, and for the first time in his life he knew it; enrapturing him like a sweet, delectable wine, a flower most exquisite. He could feel it shaking his soul out of some kind of slumber.

“Clarina has truly awakened me,” he would repeat to himself.

A mystery came into his life the day he and Clarina’s eyes met. His belief in some potent, intangible force returned, almost lost forever in the dreams of his early childhood. Even in his youth fond memories seemed few, yet each moment now was filled with a magical essence. Could there really be a God, an all-loving creator, rather than some wrathful being that looked down upon his creation with a cruel and punishing hand, far heavier than even his father’s?

Such was the description instilled in him by his own father, the Reverend Hossett. Though a more sensitive boy than most, no son of his, especially Michael, would escape his instructions into fearing God.

“To make you stronger, more able to stand up for yourself!” his father would say.

Rather than such words encouraging strength within the boy, Michael became more and more introspective. He would take every opportunity to flee from his father’s sermons, out into the garden and surrounding forest. There, he could find solace, forgetting himself and life for a while amidst the trees, flowers and the array of insects and animals that inhabited this special place.

As Michael entered the enchanted garden of his beloved, he sensed an air most uncommon. There, by the fountain, Clarina sat gazing into the faces of the newly blossomed roses. Something was indeed wrong! As he approached, she turned to greet the man she deeply loved and was soon to marry.

The light that always shone from her beautiful eyes had somehow faded, replaced by a sadness he had never witnessed in her before.
“Clarina, my love, I have missed you. I came as swiftly as my faithful horse could carry me. What is the matter?” he gasped.

“Dear Michael, I have received an urgent message from the doctor and sent for you immediately. Since he is out of town attending to a close friend, he has asked me to pass this letter to you.”

Michael prepared himself for the worst. His father had been quite ill for some months now, and doctor Moray had seemed confident that he would recover from his condition. Michael had visited his father recently and indeed his condition had improved. Slowly he opened the letter.

Dear Michael,

I regret to inform you that on this day, the 11th of May in the year of our Lord, 1895, your father, Reverend Thomas Albert Hossett returned to his beloved Creator. Only two days before, whilst conducting his Sunday service, he suddenly collapsed to the floor. The only words he repeated were:

“My son, where is my son? Tell him, please tell him that I am truly sorry for all of the wrongs I have caused him. May he find a place somewhere within his heart to forgive me!”

Please accept my condolences in your father’s passing and I sincerely apologise for my unexpected absence in your hour of need. May your father’s soul forever rest in peace.”

With much sympathy,
Doctor Clive Moray.

Michael could not believe it. Clarina reached out and held his trembling hands.
“He is dead Clarina. My father is dead!”

Tears ran down his cheeks. A mixture of grief and pain overcame him. Were these really his father’s words? Had he truly asked for forgiveness? Why had it taken him so long to share this simple message? How he had wished to hear such words from his father. If only he could have said them earlier!

“Michael, your father raised his boys as he had been raised. I do believe he attempted to do his best. I am sure in his own way he loved you. There were times when I would see him glance across the table at supper with a look of pride in his eyes. His upbringing, as you know, was very difficult. I am certain that he intended for you to be even stronger so as to face the ordeals of life. Though his true heart seemed often hidden, there were times when I saw it shine, and shine for you,” said Clarina.

“Why did he take so long to express these few words?” Michael exclaimed.

Clarina replied with an understanding that Michael had come to expect from her.

“My love, it is said there are three times in our lives when we are faced with the greatest of truth; the birth of life itself, when the heart has opened its petals to love, and in our final departing. Many literally have to look into the face of death before they can really be true to themselves and others. In fact, I would say that you have been blessed as your father had been given the chance to unburden his soul before his departing. Others are not so fortunate!”

Michael listened. He could always rely on Clarina’s wisdom to console others, and now he too was to find comfort in her words.

“You are right my love,” said Michael. “Sometimes, only when we are challenged by a truth from which we cannot possibly hide, can our soul’s feelings be revealed.”
Michael’s own feelings were now coming to the surface. He loved his father, yet could not express this to him for the fear of being admonished. If only he could have shared his heart, then perhaps, their relationship could have changed.

“I know what you are thinking, Michael and I am certain it is not too late, even now,” said Clarina. “For words have wings do they not, and the soul has a hearing to which our common ears only fall deaf. Perhaps, you could share your words now and unburden your own heart, my love. Heaven’s windows are forever open, and not one unselfish thought goes unacknowledged.”

Michael then lowered to his knees, turned to face the sky and shared aloud his heartfelt message to his father.

“Dear father, I am deeply sorry for any pain I have caused you throughout the years. You were called by God to lead others to the light of heaven and I’m sure you had this same intention for me. Please forgive me father for never finding the courage to say I love you!”

His heart began to open to a place it had never quite known, and a deep sense of peace pervaded his being.
“I love you father!” he cried softly.

These were the few words he knew his father had never heard, yet surely longed to hear. Clarina was right. Even now, it was not too late! Michael seemed to sense the presence of his father near and believed that he had heard his heart-spoken words.

“Michael!” Clarina gestured to a branch above. There, a beautiful bird peered down at them, voicing its elegant song. Then taking flight, west toward a nearby field, it disappeared into the late afternoon sun.

“It is a sign. Heaven often gives us a sign if we pay close attention. Your words have been answered my love, and the tender heart of heaven it seems has granted you both the blessing of forgiveness,” said Clarina.

Michael and Clarina wedded soon after that day, and continued to visit their special place beside the fountain where, for the first time in Michael’s life, he had experienced the grace of true and lasting forgiveness. @(http://www.dajiyuan.com)

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