Okay, not the actual Garden of Eden; no one knows for sure where it's located. But I have been to a place so tranquil, so lovely, the natives there call it The Garden of Eden. Even in the hottest time of the year and at that time of day when the temperature reaches its peak, it's a cool spot of respite and relaxation. It seems to me that even the water dares not to move. It stands in contemplation of the One who might come walk in the "coolness of the day."
It's in Israel, specifically in the northern portion, in the region known as the Wilderness of Dan. I fell in love with it the very first time I saw it and couldn't wait to return. What I wanted to know above all else was whether or not it was truly as I had remembered it or if my romantic notions had taken hold and rewritten my memory.
It was the former, not the latter. It was as tranquil and as lovely as I'd remembered it to be.
As I stood and beheld its beauty, I wondered if my "mother," (Eve) had ever thought back to the real Garden of Eden. If she and Adam had -- in the cool of the day when work had ceased and family had gathered -- spoke of the way it had been. Before. When there was no sin. Nothing to separate them from God. When listening for His footsteps had brought about great anticipation, hearts fluttering, minds anxious and filled with questions thought of during the day.
"I meant to ask you about this," Adam might have said to his Father. "This right here. I thought I'd call it a rose. What do you think?"
"Rose," God would have mused. "Rose ... rose ... rose ..." and then He might have smiled and said, "By any other name would it smell as sweet?"
Adam and Eve would have been confused and God would have said, "That's for another day ... another time ... oh, well ... another millennium!" And together they would have laughed.
There would have been so much to say. To share. To go over.
I wish I could go to the Garden of Eden in the Northern part of Israel every day. I wish I could skip along the paths leading to it, listening to the rustling of the leaves in the trees and the water rushing from the heads of the Jordan toward the river that snakes down the country. I wish I could sit on its cools banks and speak to God ... share with Him ... go over things. Things which are important to me.
But I cannot.
I can, however, find my own Garden. My own place of respite and relaxation. My own place of prayer and conversation. Of laughter with God.