The tree responded to the touch of his hand. The tree said, “I can provide you with life, but I don’t have any knowledge of good and evil and you should eat the fruit that I bear. The wise shall understand the Tree of Life and get answers to every question. I want you to find purpose in your lives, learn the structure of the world and know how to take control of your own destiny. You must make your hearts and minds pure, so you can receive the light that is God’s wisdom.” Adam said, “You are a good tree, and I shall partake in your fruit.”
When Adam and Eve lived in paradise, God allowed them to eat from the Tree of Life, but He forbid them to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and Eve were banned from the Garden of Eden, because they both ate from the forbidden tree, this caused their eyes to open and they realized that they were naked, so they sewed fig leaves together to make themselves loin cloths. God made clothes out of animal skins for Adam and Eve, at the time when they left Paradise and they put them on to feel decent again and maintain their modesty and dignity. God placed one of his angles at the east gate to the Garden to guard it against their possible return. The Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden was an olive tree and anyone who was anointed with the Oil of Mercy that this tree produced, would become rejuvenated and healthy.
Adam and Eve lived in peace with their third son Seth, and the rest of their children, until Adam was nine hundred and thirty years old. Adam grew weary of toil and of the world, and when he got sick, he stayed in his tent and worked no more. Eve came to Adam, crying, and asked, “My husband, my beloved, why are you not walking out to the fields anymore?” Adam knew that his days were coming to an end, so he said, “Let all my family be assembled, that I may speak with them and bless them before I die.” When his whole family was assembled, they asked him, “What is wrong with you, father, why did you gather us all together? Why are you lying on your bed?” Adam answered, “My beloved family, I am sick and I am suffering an illness which is causing me to be weak and have a severe debilitating pain in my body.” His family asked, “What is illness and pain?”
Seth said, “My father, perhaps you long for some of the fruit of paradise, which you ate when you and my mother lived in the Garden of Eden. Tell me how to get there and I will beseech the Lord to give me some of the fruit you desire.” Adam said, “No, my son, I do not think that God will allow me to eat from the Tree of Life, as all of mankind is forbidden from returning to the Garden of Eden. I am sure that I would feel better if you were to request some of the oil of mercy, to anoint me and restore my health.” While Adam was speaking, he was seized with violent pains, and he cried out with a loud voice, “What shall I do? I am in distress. So cruel are the pains in my body.”
Eve saw her husband weeping and this made her begin to cry and she said, “Oh Lord my God, hand over Adam’s pain to me, for I am the one who sinned. Could You give me a part of his pains, for our banishment is my fault?” Adam raised his head up from his bed and he said to Eve, “Go with my son Seth and make a pilgrimage to the Garden of Eden, put dust on your heads and throw yourselves on the ground and lament in the sight of God. Perhaps He will have pity upon us and send His angel to the Tree of Life where the Oil of Mercy flows, and maybe he will give you a drop of it to anoint me, so that I may have rest from these pains, by which I am being consumed. When we left paradise God promised me that one day mankind would receive the Oil of Mercy.”
Eve and Seth left immediately and they proceeded in an eastward direction towards the Garden. While they were walking, a serpent attacked Seth and bit his leg. When Eve saw this, she wept and said, “Alas, woe is me, wretched woman that I am. I am accursed since I have not kept the commandment of God.” Eve said to the serpent in a loud voice, “Accursed beast! Why do you dare to fight against man, as you should be afraid to cast yourself at the image of God? Why have your teeth prevailed?” The beast answered Eve, “Oh Eve, was our malice ever not against you? Isn’t our anger against you? Tell me Eve, how could you open your mouth to eat the fruit which the Lord God commanded you not to eat and now you are not able to bear it, if I should begin to reproach you?” Then Seth said to the beast, “May the Lord God revile thee. Be silent, be dumb, shut the front door, shut your mouth, accursed enemy of Truth, organizer of disorder and destruction. Fall back from the image of God, until the day when the Lord God shall order you to be brought in for trial.” The beast said to Seth, “God has forced me to crawl on my belly, ever since I tempted your parents into eating the forbidden fruit, so I am going to slither away, just as you ask, from the face of the image of God.” At once the wound on Seth’s leg disappeared.
Seth asked his mother if she was sure that she knew the way and she replied, “I know we are going in the right direction and I trust the Lord will show us what path to follow.” After walking for several days, they came to a spot where the grass was beaten down and Eve said, “This is it, the Lord has left this path where your father and I had trodden our feet on the grass after we were banished from the Garden of Eden. After all these years the grass has never grown back revealing the path that we took.” Seth and his mother finally arrived at the gate of paradise, they picked up dust from the ground and cast it on their heads, and bowed down on the ground. They began to lament making loud moaning sounds, imploring the Lord God to show pity for Adam, because he was experiencing great pain.
After they prayed and pleaded for many hours, Uriel, the angel who guarded the gate appeared, bearing a sword of fire and he permitted them to enter the Paradise that was lost by Adam and Eve’s transgression. As Eve entered the garden she said, “I am so delighted to be back here in the Garden on this sacred ground again. Your father and I shared so many happy moments here before I sinned against God. The breathtaking beauty of these pleasant surroundings is so stunning and unique that it just about defies imagination. Every plant and tree that is growing here is so precious and pleasing to my sight and I had almost forgotten how the beauty and wonder of this Garden is almost beyond comprehension. Before I was made, when your father lived here, Adam named all the animals. When God made me from Adam’s rib, Adam told me that it was my job to name all the flowers. Can you smell the gardenias, magnolias and the lilies?”
Written for Michelle of Putting My Feet in the Dirt April Weekly Story Starters challenge – Week 1 (April 1-7).