Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Her"story

(this will be my last post for awhile...but I send my best to each of you~K9, Kate, Rox, Skunk, libby,Bad Bob, /t, SJ, Foamy, Luxie, NYD, X-Dell, Bardouble, and others who read and love me...I love you too <3)

She sat on the river bank looking West towards the only home she had ever known. It was perfect there. A place without want, or care, or pain. Cool water splashed around her feet while the sun above burned her exposed arms and scalp. The burning was yet a new sensation, and it wasn't pleasant.

Sitting there alone, with time to think about the way her life had unfolded, she was instantly filled with remorse and sadness. Tears welled up in her eyes again and ran down her cheeks. For long moments she simply sat there and wept until her inner well was dry. A gentle breeze ran it's fingers through her hair and left a tingle on her shoulder. As the grief lessened she slipped into the river and splashed cool water on her face and was refreshed. The water was sweet and clean, and except for the sharp stones which jabbed her feet when she moved, the river reminded her of the blissful years she'd spent in her first home. A home where fruit hung heavy on every tree, the grass and fields were free of rough pebbles, and the animals on the farm knew no fear.

Her present home was less pleasant, harsh actually, in comparison to the life she'd once lived, but not unbearable. In this new life she still had access to everything she needed, but she had to work hard for it. Nothing came easy now. Pleasure was almost always accompanied by some amount of pain. She exchanged a life of ease for a life of information, and there seemed to be no shortage of things to learn and things to do.

Before now she had never known fear, anger, jealousy, or an ache in her lower back from the toil of the fields. Her thoughts had once been pure because all that surrounded her was pure. Her life had been filled with love and goodness, but not many choices. She had one choice actually, to obey, or not. The flowers in her first garden did not resist growth. The animals on the farm always came when she called them. The fruit trees always bore their crop, no one had to compel them to do so, and it was the same with her. She had no reason to disobey, until the one fateful day when she was asked the simplest of questions, "Did he really say...?"

She played the encounter over and over again in her head. If only she had refused. If only she had said no. If only she had heeded the warning given to her... but alas, when presented with a choice, even though it was deceptive, she chose her own will. Her choice brought her knowledge, but knowledge came (as it often does) with a heavy price.

Years would pass and she lived always within sight of her first home, but could not return to it. She created a new home, though not as lovely, but every aspect of the dwelling had her touch. The mats on the floor, and the drinking gourds, as well as the flowers in her hair were each chosen by her and she took great pride in making her dwelling a home for her husband and children.


It was a good life. A life with seasons of dedicated work and seasons of harvest. A life with a mix of birth and death, of beauty and of murder, a life where love was even more brilliant in juxtaposition to grief. She marveled at all she had learned. From the way a tiny seed could grow into a tall tree, to the way a moment of passion could plant new life within her- and bring her joy and agony like nothing else in all of existence.

Perhaps, within the confines of her first home her body would have aged more gracefully? Maybe the lines of age etched around her eyes and across her brow would be less if she had never known the pain of mistrust, or the screeching pangs of labor while giving birth? Perhaps her life would be shortened because of one choice made ages ago? She would never know.

What she did know was the strength of her own body and a powerful will to survive. She understood her limits, as well as her ability to surpass those limits when it was required. There was no end to the things she could learn, or love, as well as no end to often painful discoveries.

She had walked with God, spent time with the devil, opted for the freedom to choose her own will, and felt the sting of regret as well as the healing balm of forgiveness.

She had eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Her eyes were indeed opened and she understood the painful, yet enlightening, results from that choice. She would endure death, but she had also lived a full life with experiences both common, and uncommon.



When her days were reaching an end and she could no longer walk in the fields she had tended, or swim in the streams which refreshed and renewed her, she asked to be taken to her own private garden, one she had created with her own hands. There she lay on a mat, under the shady branches of a big tree near her gorgeous flowers, and waited. Would Adam join her in her final moments? Would a serpent stray into her garden for one last bite?

At last, in the hours before the sunset, He came to her. He strode through her garden and smiled at her as He once did many years before. With new strength she stood to greet Him and felt no fear or pain. She knew, inspite of the agony she had caused and the grief released into the world, He was coming to take her home, and she was ready to go with Him.

Taking her by the hand and looking into the aging face of His daughter Eve, he asked her about the life she had lived outside of Eden. With the honesty of a child, because nothing more and nothing less is required, she said, "Lord, I know of pain and of death, of mercy and of forgivness. I've known purity and I have known sin. I know of ease, and of toil. I know of life, and I know of loss. I now understand the life you wanted to give me, but I chose a different path along with the brutal, yet often beautiful, knowledge that came with it. Above all, being in your presence yet again, I understand love."

With unspeakable grace and tenderness, He asked her, "Daughter, do you have any regrets?"

A flood of memories and feelings swept over and through her. In an instant she thought of Adam, and her children, and of the hundreds more who came, or would come, because of her. In that same instant quick flashes of joy and heartache were recalled. Moments of humility, grace, guilt, impatience, peace, gentleness, anger, despair, hope, love...every emotion she had ever felt visited her in the span of a heartbeat.
The question hung in the air like a hummingbird at his favorite flower.


Eve looked up at her Father, and said quietly, "Lord, I have none."

He smiled at her and took Eve home to a place she would never have to leave again.
She had made her final choice, and He saw that it was good.


CRB/ 5-21-2009

14 comments:

tinkerbell the bipolar faery said...

Beautiful! What lovely writing. I will miss you ... don't be a stranger. Hope you are well.

Skunkfeathers said...

Kudos to some very deep, colorfully poignant prose. Whatever the inner message here is, I can't say I'm wise enough to know, not knowing you as well as I might.

I'll simply send you a *hug* and a friend's reminder not to be a stranger; I'm an email away.

Mayden' s Voyage said...

Roxanne- thank you...that's a compliment I will treasure, especially coming from you <3

Skunk-
Hugs in return :) The story was prompted by a statement I made in my journal about Eve. I wrote "everyone thinks if she had a chance to change things in the Garden of Eden she would, but I don't think so."
It's probably a bit controversial to those in theological circles for me to indicate Eve had no regrets...but the way the story unfolded is exactly how I saw her in my minds eye. We all make mistakes, and we all pay for them. Regret is something, I think, we should have little time for.

Bad Bob said...

I, too am awed by your writing and pictures. I will keep checking in and hope you are well.
Life never seems to be what we want it to be, but most of us cope and manage as best we can.
One thing for certain, we cannot change the past and must live with the responsibility of our actions.
Best wishes to you and your family.

Bardouble29 said...

I felt the tears and the stinging sunburn as I read the beautifully written words.

We are experience a level of getting "knowledge" and is causes us to grow to fast. Everyday we watch our children lose their innocence and as a parent a part of us dies with that innocence.

Please don't be a stranger...I will miss you terribly. I am here for you. Big Hugs!!

SJ said...

Excellent writing hope you are thinking of writing the book you mentioned earlier.

Please do drop by and comment once in a while!

Libby said...

Cora, this was so beautiful to read! it seemed to come straight from your heart! i hope you & all are well, i echo everyone else...i'm only an email away...[big hugs]!

Josh said...

What can I say that hasn't been said? It was creative, and you understand Eve and make her real for me. The prose is just as gorgeous (surprise, surprise). I felt with Eve as you wrote, and I idenitified with her even not having experienced everything that you wrote about.

The ending is powerful, and I felt like I had gone on this journey, experienced this. It was really a beautiful story.

You always amaze me with what you do with words - I loved it. ;)

K9 said...

like grace piercing through a heavy forest. just beautiful. i like how you have written eve's path of sorrow and redemption. i do believe i see a message here -that our season of hell is time done here on earth. i see several writers in this space that will testify we typically will judge ourselves more harshly than God would. maybe the beauty of your writing is we can apply what we will from this work as we can all identify with it in some measure.

i loved that old radio show art bell coast to coast and listened to it most nights. there was one show that always stuck with me. a 17 year old girl was struck by a car while riding her bike. she didnt have that go into the light NDE that we hear about. she claims to have gone to hell.

in hell she described going down a dark hallway in a kind of telepathic floaty movement where terrifying creatures would come toward her and then pass right through her. then somehow she ended up in a pit of misery with all these damned souls. wailing and crying and writhing around. no fire, just misery.

she claims she looked up and saw a variety of doorways and passages and told her brain to go to them and she did where she was able to walk away from the pit of misery. next thing she knows she is back to life from a 3 day coma or whatever.

the big point she made was this: everybody in the pit of misery put their own selves in there. they felt they deserved to be there. when she felt like she didnt -she left.

this is kind of your no regrets lesson. dont damn yourself. most bad choices are paid for in some way . trust in a loving God and see if that doesnt work out better than fear based theology.

i will miss your page. i know you have more responsibilities than ever. you have them because you are capable and of good cheer and you have a willing spirit. youre so good, im counting on you to put a good word in for me now and then ;-)

come over to the cabin this summer or fall. remember the cabin with the great view? its almost finished. love to you and take good care of yourself xo

/t. said...

radiant mayden

<3

The Phosgene Kid said...

Well,

You gave us a lot to read until you get back!!

NYD said...

She had walked with God, spent time with the devil, opted for the freedom to choose her own will...Your thoughts. Your words. Your emotions have a way of resonating with all who encounter them.

Thanks so much for sharing them.

We'll see again when it's the right time.
Be good to yourself.

leelee said...

HUGS!

Helene said...

oh I was trying so hard to read into this... It was lovely!

I came by to say HAPPY BD!! Hope you guys had a great weekend!