To everything, there is a begninning. Stories have beginnings and endings, too. There is a beautiful story that I know about with a beautiful beginning. The story begins in a garden.
The garden, as described, is supplied with many pleasures for the eye and tongue. There is work, a tending, that must be done in the garden by woman and man . All that could ever be needed or desired for the woman and man is in the garden. And all of it was good.
In the very middle of the garden, grew two trees: the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. No secret was kept to the gardne’s only two inhabitants about the potential of one of the trees, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When in the fruit bearing season, eating this fruit would bring death. The other tree, as the story goes, was only mentioned by name and the description was never elaborated upon beyond that. However, the two grew in close proximity for what must have been many years. And all was good.
Until one day when a choice was proposed to the two inhabitants, the woman and man.
To eat of the poisoned fruit to gain wisdom, or not. The lesser tree, a simple tree, the tree of life, seemed to only simultaneously coexist to the tree of knowledge and serve as a reminder that love, true love, is being given the choice to love, or not. To hold dear, or not. To honor, or not. To partake of fruit that is pleasing for the moment, or not.
A choice. Choices, whose future’s we cannot play out, but are based on our immediate appetites, are often blurry. A choice that might lead to the lesser road, the back seat or the turned cheek are less appealing than the glossy, tempting fruit on a low branch. These are the choices that might define us more by what we are not than what we are.
A final note: Several months ago, I was captured by a vision I had while driving! Yes, it was a beautiful, simple image I have failed pathetically to render. I have tried many times, in many different ways and in different mediums, but seem to come up short. I knew when I saw this image it was a tree and would be called “The Tree of Life”. I didn’t really know the history, biblical intentions or the way artist’s have handled the subject throughout history, but, I researched. I still couldn’t produce what my mind’s eye saw. Perhaps it will be the work of a lifetime, one that I will come back to over and over. I hope so! But the illustration you see was done in less than 5 minutes, in the middle of the night. I am pleased with it’s beginning, and simplicity. It think the “Tree of Life” is any tree. A simple, living, growing tree.