Vidui: Confession of Sins Against the Future

A hazy view of fields with mountains in the disatnce
We confess and we forgive
The leaded gasoline, beef burgers and plastic wrap.
We forgive the bottles unrecycled and waste uncomposted.
We forgive all the turned pages and turned-off news reports
Or the phone calls we didn’t make
And the emails we didn’t send.
We even can forgive the times we didn’t vote
And the times we didn’t march.
We forgive and we can be forgiven:
We’re only humans after all and
We did do plenty!
Really. But
It just wasn’t enough.
We confess but we cannot forgive
These other sins against the earth
And the Holy Wholeness.
How do we forgive ourselves for all the species that have disappeared?
Or the burnt forests or the dried up lakes?
The disappearing islands?
The racist pollution?
It’s not our fault, we don’t run the oil companies.
But as a species and as a people
We signed on to a covenant:
If we take care of the earth
It will take care of us.
And we reneged!
It is not for us to forgive.
We confess and wonder
Will our shame be remembered?
Our children,
And their children,
Will they resent our sins against them?
Will they forget the willful ignorance?
Will they forget the procrastination?
Will they forget the waste?
We will be long gone
So we don’t have to care
Which is disgusting
Because we are guilty
Of sins against the future.
We can only hope it is not too late.
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