In the beginning

I know it’s Christmas time, and I suppose I should really be writing something with a more Christmassy theme. But as I was lazing in bed this morning – drinking my morning cuppa, with our three dogs (we’ve now added Harley, a new Border collie pup to our other two) – I found myself thinking about Adam and Eve!

Close up of two hands, adult’s and child’s, reaching each other like Michelangelo’s painting in front of stars and galaxy. Light is shining between father’s and son’s fingers. High contrast, lens flare.

I have absolutely no idea why. But it just came into my head to wonder, how did it feel to them, waking on that first day – well, it was actually the Sixth day of the whole creation process, according to the biblical account. (One account, anyway, in Genesis 1. There’s a different account in Genesis 2, which may have been the earlier version, and is the one where Eve comes second, taken from Adam’s rib as a bit of a divine afterthought; but we’ll leave that to one side!)

Waking for that very first time, gazing up into the eyes of God, with his enlivening breath still fresh in your lungs, his face so close to yours. How amazing, how incredible, would that be.

Two perfect beings, with the imprint of the hands of God still upon their forms; more perfect than anyone would ever be again. Filled with the innocence of the just-born. Physically perfect and full-grown; mentally perfect, because they couldn’t be otherwise, having been created by God. Still filled with an innocence that would one day be ruined. But not yet. Gazing open eyed at the perfect beauty of the Garden into which they had been born. The blue sky, flecked with white cloud; the golden sun. The green of the grasses and trees, the many colours of the fruits of the Garden. The wonder of the plethora of already created creatures with whom they shared their new home, none of whom had, as yet, been named. All had been waiting for this moment, to be given their names. All would one day, of course, share in the Fall from this graceful state.

So, there I sat, sipping my morning tea, listening to the gentle breathing of my dogs as they enjoyed an extra morning doze alongside the bed. Thinking to myself, imagining that incredible moment. It may well be only a myth, a legend of how the ancient Hebrews thought the world and humankind had all begun. And it certainly has its parallels in other ancient near-Eastern Creation myths from Mesopotamia. But it is beautiful, isn’t it? Maybe it’s not literally true; but who knows? And isn’t it wonderful, a wonderful imagining, to think that our most remote ancestors, the first human beings, once woke, filled with beauty and innocence, looking into the eyes of God.

Pictures courtesy of istock and The True Story of Adam and Eve.

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