The Garden of Eden

Ten years ago my wife and I attended an educational event at the University of Delaware on a cold, rainy evening. The featured speaker was Alan Bean, an American astronaut who walked on the moon during the Apollo 12 mission in November 1969. Bean resigned from NASA in 1981 to devote himself to painting full-time. He said his decision was based on the fact that, in his 18 years as an astronaut, he was fortunate to visit worlds and see sights no artist’s eye had ever viewed firsthand and he wanted to express these experiences through the medium of art. He described his experiences while displaying a series of large paintings he’d made since leaving the space program.

More than 40 years after he walked on the moon his memories were still quite vivid. He said that in spite of the grave danger, the uniqueness of being on the moon, and the incredible adventure of it all, what impressed him most was — there is absolutely nothing on the moon. No colors, no wind, no sounds … no trees or living things of any kind. As he looked out into space, the sun’s light was so bright he couldn’t see the stars. He saw and felt only the vast black emptiness of space.

Then he described the incredible experience of looking at Earth — a magnificent blue-green sphere in the deep blackness of space — and he realized that he was looking at the Garden of Eden … Paradise. His words sent a shiver down my spine the way profound truths always do.

Earth is our Paradise and we have everything we need to live out our dreams.

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