We, people of the book recall that first garden. Adam and Eve and the tree and its fruits. Edible and delightful, yet prohibited. Prohibited by the God who made them and loved them; loved in their innocence, their vulnerable nakedness, their soft skin and bright eyes and faces full of curiosity and wonder and awe as they take in with their keen senses all that God had made. These babes. These young ones. Children of the earth, children of God. They were beautiful and fragile and sacred, beloved creatures made in the image.
Until, tempted by their insatiable appetites and their desire for power they eat from the tree and become aware of themselves and their surroundings and their vulnerability, their weakness. Aware of their disregard of, disrespect for, distance from God—they feel shame and guilt and learn to hide. They learn to lie. They learn to lie low and protect themselves at the expense of the other. They learn to gratify their own desires and ignore the desires of the other. They learn to trust snakes and ignore their God.
And so they expel themselves into a world of danger and darkness and death. Much of which they bring on themselves and on their descendants forever. From the garden they roam. They plant and build, but never recreate the garden. They cannot return. We are lost, displaced, a long way from home. It didn’t have to be this way; this dark, this lonely, this ugly, this violent, this deadly. But we have made it thus.