Last week I tagged along on Martin’s photo club excursion to the Johnson Nature Center, a 40-acre site offering two miles of trails through woods and alongside ponds and streams, creatures large and small. many-feathered and four-footed. Using my three-lensed iPhone means certain shots are beyond possibility.  So I go for the up-close, the slightly odd, an image that inspires a story of sorts.

This sinewy branch couldn’t help but bring to mind the serpent and the apple trick it played upon Eve. Eons of discussion focus on this event. Eve was set up.  If the Divine was in charge, why sabotage the whole thing right off the bat? And with a snake?

I’m reading Merlyn Stone’s When God was a Woman. Goddess cultures revered the female. Archeology confirms this across the Levant. The snake was aligned with the Goddess’ power; it makes perfect, if disappointing, sense that shifting such a culture to one that is male-prominent, necessitated a negative reinterpretation of the female and her symbol of power. Look for a review of Stone’s book in a future Bookshelf.

For now, the photo and the title that came to me, have taken me in along a different path. Eden is Everywhere. Where did those words come from? I am composing this post on a cool morning in my quiet kitchen. Early-morning walkers pass by, the sound of their conversations ebb and flow with them. Birds are singing praise to their Creator. The sound of an airplane reminds me that Eden is now metaphorical and yet right at my elbow.

Temptation still abounds, too. If not an apple offered by a serpent, then by inviting me to stay under the covers, delay chores, and surrender to the laziness of not giving someone the benefit of the doubt.

I realize I’ve taken close to a thousand words when the photo might’ve done fine just by itself.