This is the picture me & Will selected from our garden shoot; the water, pads, flowers & reflections just seemed to fit the story
I spent the day with my sister and brother in-law Mike (aka Yoda) and my son Will; our destination was the Garden. It was a chance to get out and spend time with people that are important to me and are a good influence on Will. It was a good day, I would not trade it, but it was not perfect, it caused me to contemplate what I now call, ‘a day in the garden.’ My reflections centered around the differences between this day and what a day in the ‘first garden’ would have been like. I am a Christian, but I am not interested in talking about moral teachings here. I am referring to the overall connotations of what the first garden was like, at least the one I grew up with. Then again, I have been accused of seeing things a little differently, so maybe it is just me.
It struck me that two of the biggest conditions that defined the First Garden were conspicuous by their absence, conflict and change. Both were quite apparent during my day in the garden. The first indication that this day would vary slightly from Eden was on the way to my sister’s house. There were three sheriff’s cars, a man and women, no other car insight, blocking one lane of the intersection.. I don’t know what was going on, only that everyone looked real serious. I am pretty sure, in the original, The Father was the only law enforcement needed. We got to my sister’s house, had a cup of coffee and pleasant conversation and headed out to the garden for the day. First we stopped for breakfast, can’t go to a garden hungry, you might eat the wrong thing. At this point, some of you might be asking how can you say there is no conflict or change in the first garden? OK, first I didn’t say I was right, I said it is the impression I have of it. I will however, try to explain my thinking. The snake was more of a car salesman than an agitator or violent criminal. He didn’t threaten or coerce, he appealed to Eve’s vanity, women are interested in more than just beauty. If there would have been conflict in the garden, Adam’s reaction would have been more typically male, ‘you bought what? who is this snake, where is he at, I will rip his head off.’ I also wonder why some squirrel, there is always a squirrel around, didn’t get involved and say, listen to me Eve, everyone knows he a snake oil salesman. Have you ever noticed squirrels always have advice, especially after the fact.
Another place the lack of conflict was surprisingly absent was in the creation story. Let’s think about human birth for a second; being a father of three during a time when the consensus proclaimed it was good for the father to be in the room during birth; there is very little peaceful and serene about the process. Now remember how God calmly spoke the world into existence; kind of a novel idea. This lack of conflict was present even when he kick the first couple out, no real yelling and shouting at each other. It was more like he gave them a knowing look and said, alright guys, what did you do? No sense trying to hide it, the fig leaves give you away. The only action or reaction in the whole scene that seems remotely familiar, is the father explaining that they are no longer welcome and should go forth and have a miserable life, sorry, but I warned you.
Now to dispense with the idea of change in the first garden. I would admit that there was change when the garden was created. Going from nothing to everything is transformational, but once the garden existed; it was consistence and not variation that was the hallmark until the end. Speaking of the end, did it end when the first couple got kicked out? I say yes. That was when change entered the world. I do think, if we could interview that squirrel from the first garden, the one that didn’t speak up and try to stop the whole apple thing; he would say that humans first independent act was to screw things up for all creatures and they haven’t stop yet. I think he is still bitter over the first garden fiasco.That is the problem with rodents, they just won’t let go. You can’t blame him for being a little miffed, in the beginning, squirrels didn’t have to spend their time gathering nuts, they were always just laying around. In my opinion,there were no seasons, or maybe just one very long season in Eden. This is not based on fact, research, or careful consideration, just what I think. Like the presidential candidates, I would appreciate it if everyone would pretend whatever I want to say is the truth. Anyway, it was evident that had begun to give way to Fall in our garden. This is just a long winded way of saying we went to Big Biscuit for brunch.
Brunch at the Big Biscuit proved to be an interesting experience. Mike drop us off and went across the street to what he called the blood place to get his blood drawn. He has to monitor his blood on a regular basis. This is important detail to show that the ‘Mike’ of the past has aged, takes many more pills than me, has had a heart condition for quite a while now, the most physical thing he does is play golf (he uses a cart). The Mike that use to make his team mates feel safe and the opponent not so much; had changed. If the reader is starting to question our little groups’ sophistication (Big Biscuit, Blood Place) it is understandable, we are just common folk. Mike returned, we ordered, and we were indulging in waffles and such, when a lady came over and asked if she could pray with us. We all held hands, something I still find stressful, In my church growing up, we all sit a safe distance from one another and tried not to fall a sleep. I am equally sure that my big sister may have dragged me by the arm, hair, or collar, but under no circumstances held my hand. We held hands and she prayed. Her prayer was flattering toward me, thankful to the Lord and little worrisome for Will. Basically, she thought it was great I took Will (Will has CP) out in public and didn’t put him in an institution. Will has spoke to me at length about his concerns,if I can’t return to performing my normal functions and or I pass.on. Pass on are my words, Will thinks it is an old people saying to make them feel better. According to Will it is a misleading statement, he says if you pass somebody you meet them at the next stop light, or when you get home. He said people who passed me in the hall said I’ll see you later in class. I said, ‘There you go, when I say pass, I mean I will see in our final destination, hopefully heaven.’ I smiled feeling good about my quit wit. He just shook his and said no. No one who passed in the hall meant, I will see after high school. This prompted me to reply, don’t worry about it. In the words of the late, great Archie Bunker “case closed”. The praying lady released my and we all said amen. My final take on the this unforeseen interlude was that the lady was polite, considerate and willing to risk rejection to show kindness to people she didn’t know. You kind of have to respect that. Just as important, her prayer was short.
The next scene of any importance contrasted markedly from the preceding, and showed a different aspect of the human condition. An elderly lady, (elderly – generally reserved for someone older than you) evidently made some comment to a young couple about the behavior or lack thereof, of their child. These facts along with whether it was really a baby or was a toddler were not immediately obvious. (for one thing the high backed booths hide both mother and child) What was apparent was there was a twenty something man threatening an elderly woman in front of our table. Mike’s response was to say ‘whoa now’, mine was to think you have to be nuts to go off on an elderly lady in front of Mike’s table. My second thought, that followed shortly behind the first, was this is not twenty or thirty years ago. I hope Mike remembers that soon. Sometimes you forget, I know I have had a few reminders along the way. In addition, although circumstances are completely different than they ever have been for me, I have never really been sick or incapacitated for any length of time; what was familiar was knowing my big sister and Mike were there for me. She had called me little brother and I had called her big sister, and that my friends is as close as we get to a hug. What I am trying to say is that I hoped this stroll down memory lane did not cloud the reality of today. It didn’t, everything worked out without anyone getting hurt. The young couple went back to their brunch. I was somewhat amused by the reaction of the people. The mother of the child was crying, which seemed to me an appropriate response to your having child raising skills question and the response from your side being to threaten an old lady. Now that the elderly lady was gone, everyone was very sympathetic toward not only the mother, which was understandable, but also the man. Even if the lady was inconsiderate in her comments, his reaction was that of a bully. I am all for defending your child, the child was never being threatened. If he wanted to help his wife feel better, I would hope that making a big scene with you playing the role of the fool would not be the way to go about it. Mike made it clear that babies do cry and allowances should be made; when a loud child like noise came from the booth in question, followed by a child falling onto the floor. Mike now seeing the age of the child understood the women’s complaint. We paid our check and left.
When we arrived at the garden it was decided due to the amount of walking involved, we should get a wheel chair for Will. Despite the fact it took almost 15 minutes to get the foot rest on, it proved to be a good decision. In fact, at one point my sister took a short ride in it, which seemed to help convince her that her husband was right and it was a good idea that they were getting one for their European vacation. She might have left out the husband was right part and it would be best not to point it out. It garden was nice, but lacked the wow factor of spring and summer. Did I mention there was a lot of walking. This time of year things die or go dormant quickly, so even a little earlier would have been better. But that happens, sometimes we wait a little longer than we should. Most of times the difference is small, but occasionally it matters. Things in our garden do change and there is conflict . Some days will be better than others, don’t wait to see the beauty where or how you want it; see it where it is. Conflict can not always be avoided, but remember, there are people out there that will pray for you and there are bullies.