Once upon a time at the very beginning of time in a garden ripe and fecund,
Adam and Eve, were lovingly inspired by God. She breathed her own breath into their clay and gave them life.
Here, there was no hunger, no cold, no fear, only love. God watched her children grow and time passed. She knew that soon the garden would be too small for them. She could see that they were growing fast and knew that the time was coming very soon when She would have to let them grow.
This pained God as it does every mother who has carried her children this far. It was a wonderful thing to keep her little ones in the safety of Eden, to feel them quicken to life, to expand the boundaries and let them stretch. But the time was soon coming when, if these children were to become as she had dreamed, God would have to do something that would cost her dearly.
Finally Her time came.
God gathered the children about her sky blue skirts and told them that they could eat of anything in the garden they wanted, but, they must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As she spoke these words her heart trembled. She knew that the gift she was giving them was one of the most terrible and loving things she could give; the freedom to choose and grow to know themselves.
This was only the beginning. If they were ready to choose, they would be ready to grow into the freedom of her Daughters and Sons. She also knew deep in her heart of the great risk to herself; that they may well forget her.
It was the female child who thought long and hard about God’s words as she gazed up at the fruit from the giant roots of the tree. Eve had no experience of choosing anything. ‘You shall not’, was a concept she had never encountered in her whole life and now she was confused. So she consulted one of the wisest creatures in the garden.
The wise old serpent told Eve that eating of the fruit of this tree would change her world. She explained, that just one bite would cause her to grow in a new way, she would see many new things where before there had been One. The wise old serpent added that after eating the fruit, when she looked upon still waters she would see something she had never seen before.
Eve didn’t really understand this explanation, but gathered from the depth and the seriousness of the old serpent’s tone that this next thing was very important.
Eve climbed the ancient trunk of the mysterious tree. Near the top she clambered out on a limb until she reached the ripe fruit. She stretched out and held the fruit in the palm of her hand and gently plucked it off.
She put the fruit to her lips and tasted. A great shudder rolled through her flesh and seemed to be echoed in the garden as a veil dropped from Eve’s eyes and she saw herself and the tree as, not one but two. She ran to the still pool and gazed into it. This time it was not just a bright dancing pattern of light and colour but a face that looked back at her, it blinked when she blinked it stuck out its tongue at precisely the same time as she stuck out hers. Then it dawned on her and she saw her face! A new word moved upon her lips ‘mine’.
Nearby, God was hiding behind a great rock, watching her beautiful girl entranced with her own image and with a loud groan God began to weep and a great river arose and broke open the gates of Eden.
When the shudder subsided and all was quiet again, Eve ran to find Adam. She saw him from a distance. My goodness, he was so different from her, she laughed then covered her mouth, she had never laughed at him before! . She pulled herself together and absent-mindedly plucked a leaf from a tree and covered her newfound vulnerability.
Eve held the fruit out to Adam and without so much as a question Adam took a bite. The garden shuddered again and a second great moan came from behind the huge rock. The two children huddled together, both now afraid as the beautiful garden that had been their haven for so long began to darken and shrink around them.
Eve hurriedly took Adam to the still pool, where he too saw his face and uttered the new word ‘mine’. One last great moan filled the garden and the river rose so steeply that it caught the two babes and carried them out through the open gates into a world of light and darkness, joy and pain, up and down, life and death, mine and yours. God heaved one last great sigh and rested.
Many years passed and the children, now grown, had learned to live in the world of opposites. Survival was hard work in this place, where life ate life and hunger was a daily companion. It didn’t take long to forget what it had been like to live without fear. Only the occasional, winsome memory of the Mothers sky blue skirts came to mind, and longing, on a cloudless day. Now She was gone, far away from them. They could no longer see her all around them, watching and singing in a still small voice, trying to re-mind them of the wisdom, with her stories and her songs. They could no longer see, in the beauty of the butterfly and the call of the deer that She was there, still with them, trying to attract their attention to re-member the Oneness they all shared.
Oblivious, Adam and Eve drifted in a dream of separation, hypnotised by desire and fear. In two minds, which made the dreaming something of a nightmare.
Yet one warm night under a full golden moon, Eve dreamt of a garden where God’s breath was the air itself. She awoke within that longing thought of love, wrapped in a faint memory of God breathing her, giving life and a gift that she never quite understood. Then a great moan came from Eve as her belly stretched and moved mysteriously with a secret yet to be revealed.
God smiled as she saw how her girl had grown just as she had dreamed. She sat alongside her daughter and touched Eve gently with a kiss and a new life broke forth from Eden.
Bev Robertson 2009