In the beginning God created heaven and earth. I do not believe the biblical creation story is a historical account of the beginning of life, but the myth of Adam and Eve still has deep meaning. Whenever I have to weed the garden I always think, “Cursed is the ground for thy sake… Thorns also and thistles shall bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.“ The thorns and thistles that we are punished with are the little challenges of life. I’ve never heard a sermon on that but I like to think that is what it means. I kind of enjoy weeding the garden. Sometimes I like to think that Eve and Adam were quite bored in a garden that required no work. Imagine all the plants coming up by themselves like winning some sort of garden lottery without real appreciation for the work put in to the planting and caretaking. Gardening would be dull and unchallenging without weeds, thorns, bugs and sometimes bad weather. The weeds of life and the weeds of the garden work in the same way because they keep us challenged and distracted enough to keep us out of trouble.
Gardens are mentioned many times in the Bible. In the Song of Solomon, the woman’s body is compared to various plants. The Garden of Gethsemane literally means “oil press.” I’ve read that there are very old olive trees in that area that can be 900 years old. In the book of Esther the king’s gardens are mentioned quite a bit. In Ecclesiastes, Solomon talks about the beautiful gardens that he had planted. The city of Babylon is written about in the Bible, but I’m not sure that there is mention of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Historians are not sure if the Hanging Gardens were real or poetry. I like to think that the garden was real. There are people who have gardens with only plants that are mentioned in the Bible. I find that an interesting project and it would be a challenge.