Dark Eden

This morning, in the first hours of dawn, my son Charlie woke up screaming. He does this periodically. He's not hurt or waking from a bad dream, he just wants out of his bed. He's almost five years old. Most kids his age are in a twin bed and when they want to get up and help themselves to cereal in the kitchen, they do.

But not Charlie. He's still in a crib and he cannot walk. And he cannot help himself to much of anything. So when I hear the early morning shriek, that's my cue to to stumble from my bed into the hallway and help him out of bed, into a clean diaper and into the kitchen for some breakfast, which I spoon feed him.

I am not telling you all this for attention or pity (God, I hate pity), but to illuminate my next thought: Serenity can exist anywhere. Yes. Anywhere. After Charlie is settled and fed and diapered and The Wiggles are streaming on the screen, I sneak away for a cup of coffee and a stroll, albeit a quick one, through my little back yard garden. Why? Because I'm seeking serenity. I need to hear that it's all going to be okay. And if you listen closely, that is what plants whisper when you walk by. "It's all going to be okay."

It is only 6:34am. I've been up for 15 minutes and I still have an entire day of childcare ahead of me. I also have lots of work calling my name. But for these next few minutes, I feed the chickens, snap a few beans off of the bean pole, fondle an almost ripe tomato and greet the morning with a deep breath.

This is my Eden. The almost ripe tomato, the coffee, the kid who can't walk, the one who is still asleep, the chicken scratching at the ground, the prickly cucumber stems, the rising sun, the power line, the clothesline, the camera hanging around my neck to snap photos for the blog, the slight smell of ammonia wafting from the coop that reminds me its time to change their bedding - all of it, my Eden.