Finding a new story amid the pandemic

Reimagining a Garden of Eden both whole and holy

This article appears in the Small Earth Stories feature series. View the full series.

Thomas Berry says we need a new story. Why not begin with the Garden of Eden? Those first inhabitants sat in a circle, singing praise for the stars, animals living nearby and food-bearing plants. They knew happiness in sharing food they had gathered and knowledge about building and weaving. Realizing that hoarding or stealing led to destruction, they lived their lives with compassion, teaching their children this way. They lived in the Garden, respecting its life. The Garden was whole and holy.

These days, our circles virtual and our songs of praise homebound, we have new opportunities. We can teach our children better ways of caring for Earth and her gifts. Our homes have become our gardens where we dream of clean air, sustainable farming, a just economy, perhaps the glimpse of a hawk in a tree. This is time for reimagining a whole and holy Garden.  

-- Margaret Small is a mother, grandmother and retired teacher who started an environment club at her school and continues to work on environmental issues. She lives in Burlington, Ontario, Canada’s most populous province.