Do you ever wonder what that first Eden would have been like?
A beautiful carpet of flowers of amazing hues? A tall jungle, huge leaves giving refreshing shade? Tumbling waterfalls and glistening lakes?
Or maybe a living buffet, where every tree and bush provided something new to eat? Eye-catching colours, mouth-watering flavours, satisfying and nourishing.
As we look around at our world today, with all its fears and sorrows and disasters, we may long for another chance to live in paradise.
But if we did, I wonder how we would behave? Would we be able to re-connect with our Eden selves, our pre-fall, pre-selfish, selves and be able to eat just what we needed, when we needed it, content with what we had and trusting that the Gardener would provide more when it was required?
I hope so.
But a small part of me, unable to imagine such innocence, fears that we would still want to gather more, hoard it away (just in case), consume too much just because we could, always have more than the other person, and so still end up with paradise lost. Not because we would be banished from Eden, but because we had banished Eden from our way of living.
So this year I am trying to live a ibt more lightly. Not in a huge way, but in the every day decisions. To not buy all that food, all those books or CDs or gadgets to make my life more comfortable. To not have 5 different sorts of biscuits in the cupboard at any one time just in case.
To decide that it is ok that we might not always be able to meet our current desire instantaneously, that it might need to wait until the next time we go to the shops or the library.
To recognise that even that is a trivial inconvenience not a hardship.
To accept that maybe a few occasions of going without might help us understand how life feels for those who only get to the fruit tree after our greedy harvesters have already been through.