Out of the Valley

Eden Before the Fall - Part 4

By Jon Hillenbrand In Eden Before the Fall Series, Stories

Adam looked at the blue light that filled the valley before the sun had fully risen.  Walking along the river bank sinking his muddy feet into the cold wet sand, he stepped on a long stick.  It was his old fishing rod which he had neglected as of recent.  He picked it up and cleaned the mud from the twine he had tied to its end.  He splayed the barbs out so they could best catch a fish and found that his mind had wandered back to a time before Eve existed.  He looked about for her across to the tree where the grass had served as their bed for the night.  There at the river’s edge Eve drank as gentle as a fawn, on her chest, hands at her shoulders, dipping her lips down and then looking back up and around.  She saw him looking at her and smiled.

“I am looking for the mist, like you,” she called out.

Adam smiled and felt the sun rise past the mountain peak to the east.  The familiar was all around him.  The feel of the grass, the smell of the flowers, the temperature of the air around him had a rhythm that he had learned.  Yet far to the west, he could occasionally see storms, fire and other things which never happened here.  It occurred to him that time was changing that landscape more than it was changing this.  The land to the west looked like it tasted different than the land he tasted here.  He pulled a strand of his hair from his mouth.

“I’m feeling familiar with the land around me today,” Adam said.

Eve looked back down at the river and drank another mouthful.  She stood wiping her hands and cocked her hip.  She closed her eyes and smelled the air deeply.

“I am in the flower of my youth from whence the fruit shall blossom.  My night shall rise and fall here as shall my day.”  She paused, then, “Do you long for the west?”

Adam saw the sunlight reaching gentle hills in outstretched fields to the west.  A million blades of grass opened to it.

He remarked, “The grass over there opens its eyes at the same time as you do when the sun hits yours.  Yet this has just happened upon this moment.  Are you not curious as to the experience?”

“The dark of night possesses only more darkness from what I can tell.  Do you think there’s more to it?”

“How can there be only what we know from these current experiences.  Once a drop of water fell from you and inside of it was revealed to me a truth about the paradise.  It was a small truth about objects existing and interacting with other objects that we may not be able to see, namely the wind.  The wind blows our hair and cools the warm sides of us but from where does it come and where does it go?”

“It tends to come from the west and it comes straight to us.  We are the destination of the wind just as the animals and fruit are.  We are without want,” she smiled.

Adam furrowed his brow but immediately felt happiness from God.  His curiosity was replaced by the wonder of the Creator.  But just as quickly, he felt the curiosity return as a competition developed inside of himself, like a competition between warmth and cold.  The wind picked up just then bringing with it a new smell.  He felt his nose fill and he sneezed.  His eyes widened and he brought his hand up to his nose reflexively.

“What was that noise you made,” Eve questioned as she ran to him.  She held a sharp hunk of slate in her palm.  Adam pulled the hair from his mouth again and nodded to her.

“I don’t know what it was.”  Eve mimicked the sound and laughed.  He laughed too and she raised her hands to cut some of his hair that was always getting into his mouth.  She collected the hair and tied a lock of it with some grass she had dried earlier.  She tied the lock to her own hair.

Adam joked, “You will remember me with this lock of my hair?”

“Why would I need something to remember you by?  You are always with me,” she smiled.

“Not all of the time.  You have always known me.  But I have not always known you.  When you leave, it reminds me of the time before you were here.”

“What was it like?”

“I almost can’t remember.  I used to have a feeling without you.  A feeling I have a hard time putting into words.  But the feeling would go away when I would use this,” and he showed her the fishing rod.

Eve handled it delicately.  She knew he had fashioned it and that he had used his experience to learn how to do that.  Adam often taught her things he had learned about fashioning wood into objects, and in return she revealed her observations about the plants and the stars which Adam had never thought of before.  To her, they perfectly complimented each other which was what made her think of the device in her hands as a somewhat unnecessary item.  But then again, why did it exist?  Adam had created something new from what existed around her.  Yet, if this was not necessary, why did he have the knowledge to do so?  She probed her own curiosity and felt the coolness of the cave of uncertainty open its wide chasm before her.  The cave in her mind was damp and cool and she gathered fireflies around her to lighten her path.  Her feet stepped uncertainly upon the cold wet rocks and in the deep darkness she could hear a thunder like crashing waves heard through cupped hands.  The rocks beneath her scratched her feet and she felt new born.  The deeper she went into the cave, the darker it became, yet within that darkness lay pinpricks of light which zipped past her as fast as a thousand birds.  The birds screeched at her and from the darkness reached a hand offering to her something more than love and more than comfort.  She didn’t know the feeling that was being offered but the hand was beautiful and strange and different.

Adam felt the stone cut his ear.  He flinched away and grabbed Eve’s hand as the slate shard fell to the soft green earth.  Eve blinked away the distance.  He could see that she had been in a dream and said, “From where did you come?”

“I do not know, but it was new.  It was dark but within the dark was a light and an offering.  There was discomfort there but also a beautiful knowledge that I can’t quite understand.”

Adam scrunched his face. “Do you think it was the west?”  She shook her head no.

They both looked to the mountains of the east.

What do you think?