The Dust of Eden
It’s all a bit odd. Dirt covers the earth and pavement covers the dirt. People travel the pavement in cars. They sit in their cars, on their phones, talking to someone else, somewhere else. Eden is buried, it’s beneath us.
Dirt covers the earth and buildings cover the dirt. In the buildings sit chairs, tables, and beds. The beds, tables, and chairs are turned towards screens. The screens are full of talking someones from somewhere else. Eden is buried, it’s beneath our concrete foundations.
Today I have not yet touched the earth. I came close as I walked from my house to my car. I took eight to ten steps across the grass. But my rubber-soled shoes absorbed the earth’s imposition.
My terrain is concrete, tile, wood, and thick woven fabric. I live in a land of molded plastic, wrinkle free textiles, and framed steel. I mostly view the earth through car, bedroom, and office windows.
The earth is frequently a transition or an obstacle to cross. It is the space between buildings, between my civilized destinations. A patch of grass separating the road from the room.
Sometimes, during transition, we trip and fall. The dirt stains our clothes, the grit scars our hands. Thankfully we have soap, water, and drains. Water to wash and drains to carry the dirt beneath us.
Eden purports our origins to be rooted in sacred breath and clay. God took dust and water. He stirred the elements and brought us to form. With sacred breath the dirt and dust began to dance. And God saw that the dance was “very good.” The divine breath had transformed dirt into sacred life.
Along with giving Adam and Eve life, God gave them a garden as a home. In the beginning, Eden was void of pavement. When sin corrupted the initial seed, God banished the first pair from the garden. As a result, the sons and daughters of Adam became restless wanderers. They moved from garden abiding to wilderness wandering. From green grasses to endless roads. Roads that promised better lands and better days.
When you bury me, turn my coffin upside down. Let the cover swing wide open. Watch as my unmotivated shell hits the ground. I’ve spent so much time trying to be civilized that sometimes I forget the dust from which I was formed. Even worse, I fail to acknowledge the divine breath. The breath that makes this clay dance.
Today I’ll touch the earth. Today I’ll caress Eden’s canvas and thank God for the life he formed in me. Let the rest of it rust, corrode, and fade away.