Wednesday, October 18, 2006

In Eden

You know the way things suddenly connect and you find yourself somewhere you didn't expect to be? I am unexpectedly blundering around in Eden. (I'm sure Eden is a place where one should float gracefully, but I am built more for blundering than graceful floating.) At the weekend I finally picked up one of the unread books from my holiday reading selection - Eden by Tim Smit, the man who imagined and ultimately created Eden ... no, not that Eden, but the Eden Project in Cornwall, where the largest greenhouses in the world hold an astonishing array of plants in tropical and warm temperate biomes, providing both a stunning tourist attraction and a repository for the world's horticultural gene bank. I'm intrigued by the sheer scale of the achievement and the way in which a ridiculously impossible idea became reality.

At the library yesterday a new book jumped off the shelf at me, partly because it is published by the Eden Project and partly because it is by one of my favourite illustrators, Jane Ray. In Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, unlike her other Biblical books (Creation, Noah's Ark and the Nativity), she does not use the original text but retells the story herself - well, I thought, though I only skimmed through quickly. One imaginative addition I rather liked was God giving Adam and Eve plant cuttings to take with them out of the Garden of Eden. I just love her illustrations!

And just to keep the theme going, Star and I are currently reading about Eve in Saint Patrick's Summer.

Postscript: I just browsed Jane Ray's website, which confirmed something I suspected. She is the daughter of my former organ teacher. Now I like her even more!

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