Last month, my partner and I visited Longwood Gardens, located on US Route 1, about 3 miles northeast of Kennett Square, PA, for the second year in a row. If you have never been there, then you have not yet experienced the most breathtaking gardens imaginable. Encompassing 1,050 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows, your senses have an opportunity to take in the fragrances of over 11,000 types of plants and see more fountains than any other garden in the US! Story has it that Pierre S. du Pont purchased the Peirce Arboretum in 1906 to save its trees from being cut down for lumber. Over the next 50 years, Mr. du Pont developed Longwood Gardens into what it is today for many – a magnificent horticultural paradise that delights the senses. For Justin and I, each visit to Longwood Gardens conjures up a return to Eden… if only for a day.
Since that time, Justin and I have had many conversations about returning to Eden; not necessarily to Longwood Gardens, but to a simpler time, place, and circumstance where we each feel completely free to be and accepted for who God wants us to be.
It is these recent experiences that got me to thinking about the Garden of Eden and of my return … a lot. So much so in fact that I started to research the topic on the net. Surely, there must be a few others out there who feel as I do. To my surprise, many not a few, have been thinking about the Garden of Eden; not within the context of an unattainable paradise, but rather of a paradise in which we all have a chance to return.
To some, Eden is any place where we find wonder and beauty. To others, Eden is a metaphor for people within whom we find love and acceptance. Still there are others who believe Eden is a lifestyle or a peaceful state of mind. Regardless of whether Eden is a place, a person, a lifestyle, or a state of mind, there is one thing that everyone seems to agree on… Eden is found in the feeling of home… a place we left, miss, and long for yet never left us.
Over the next series of occasional posts, I will be exploring the Garden of Eden… what and where it is; why we want to return there; ways in which we can recognize, cultivate, and connect with Eden again; and most of all how to live within and appreciate Eden’s abundance. For it is in our finding home within Eden that we know of our return to wholeness that lasts not for a day…but rather for all eternity.
Remember … touch a life today “The Little Way” by following the lead and need of others. Also, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my community, knew…”, then be sure to visit White Light Communications at http://www.tothewhitelight.com.