The Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions

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The (Bigger) Garden of Eden

Written by Community Solutions fellow wimbi

(As inspired by E.O. Wilson's new book - Half-Earth)

It’s garden- starting time, and my wife and all our gardening friends are enjoying the early spring, pouring their usual intense attention into their gardens, big and small, flowers, veggies,  trees, shrubs or you name it.

“A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot--”

So I got to thinking of how unfortunately narrowly we usually define the word garden- a little patch maybe in the back yard -  when in fact the right definition, it seemed certain to me, is the whole planet. Our definition of the place where we put so much care and personal interest should be all of everything, not just tiny bits of it here and there.

“Annihilating all that’s made to a green thought in a green shade.”

Why don’t we do that?  A big question.  That got me to thinking about all the stories in the old testament, in which, when people had big questions, they didn’t waste time with the local soothsayer or the internet, they just went right straight to God.  Makes sense to us simple results-oriented engineers; I should do the same.

A little research got me the proper methods, and thus prepared, I went out into the right sort of place, lifted up my arms, and atoned, in a properly humble sort of way -

“God, why don’t people recognize their planet, all of it, as their own precious garden, from which they get all they will ever need, if they just take care of it as intently as they do all their little tiny gardens now?

I was surprised to get an almost immediate answer. Sort of.

The voice of God, very brief, and a little peeved:

“Ok, that one’s fixed,  on to the next.”

And that was all!

What to make of it?  So, being in a pleasant spot and not seeing anything else to do,  I sat back, relaxed, and,  trying to make my mind as receptive to messages from on high as I could,  waited.

Not for long, it more or less immediately popped into my head that what I had heard was God's talking to himself as he beavered away correcting the HomoSapiens code.

Since, God had realized,  a slight error early on had allowed HS to misinterpret the whole garden of Eden story as some sort of punishment, when instead he intended it to be an EXAMPLE of what HS was being instructed to do with the whole planet.

“Here’s what a proper planet should look like, a paradise.  Now, get out there and keep it that way.” 

Direct quote.

 Our job is to note, admire and keep a paradise Simple enough! Sounds like nice work, let's do it.

But in the beginning, HS had not got it at all.  Instead, misinterpreting the whole thing, they went out and made a goddawful mess of our holy planet, while at the same time retaining a mere remnant of the real message in working so diligently all weekends on all those little tiny patches of paradise scattered all over people’s back yards.

All this sounded to me like the right interpretation of the message.  But was it? There has to be measurable evidence before any assurance of anything. So I looked around for evidence. After all, everybody should have got the message at the same time as I did, and I should be seeing things starting to happen right now.

And sure enough, when I looked, I saw. People were suing the oil companies for lying, and working hard on improving solar and wind power,and putting aside fish reefs for breeding grounds, putting carbon back into the ground by highly promising biological processes, and, above all, reading the new gospel according to E.O Wilson, “Half-Earth”, in which he presents a clear and compelling case, and how to do it, for returning a big bit of the original garden for us to care for and admire like God had intended in the first place.



“-- on to the next.” ??  Uh-oh, what might that be about?