Where is Eden?

…At the Cove the garden went on producing crops and surprises of its own. Many more beds had been prepared, and as a result the growing things were expanding steadily along the sandy beach. Small birds had arrived from somewhere, and were nesting in the trees that Rena had planted from small slips that had been found among the first piles of trash they’d dredged out of the lagoon. Lately, an amazing surprise, there were several large butterflies and a few moths flitting among the plants! Bees and wasps were commonplace now, and there were contingents of ants, many of whom, according to Tom, had not been local to Cresthaven or the Preston’s valley, but having decided to stay at the Cove, had built large hills in which to raise their young.
Where had they come from? No one knew.

Snails were present in a half dozen or so shapes and sizes, with the biggest almost the size of a doll’s head. Dragonflies, crickets, frogs and toads took up residence in the reeds and bulrushes around the pond, and did their bit to balance the lively insect populations.
The crops were generally good; there was steady and varied pollination by the insects, and the screamer winds that still took a regular turn around the lagoon made sure nothing got missed.
At Tom’s Place, before very long, they regularly ate fresh fruits and veggies with their meat, which was usually fish, and on one occasion poultry, for a family of ducks that must have had digs among the sea birds down at the south end had showed up, discovering, somehow, that there was a place where they could better themselves. They built their cunningly placed nests and laid eggs, most of which managed to hatch, but a good few were eaten with great enjoyment.
Once the birds left the rough rocks and sharp fangs that marked the top of the hot vent and came to the garden, they stayed, and their whistling, singing and chirping gladdened the hearts of everyone at Tom’s Place, and gave a feeling of contentment and deeper meaning to their most unusual lives. Here in the darkness, save for Emmy, was a Garden of Eden in the making, a flowering of the peaceful and loving aspects of being alive, instead of the unending cycle of conflict and confrontation that can corrode and destroy every part of life.
Rena and Annabelle drew on the wholeness and cooperation that was growing around them, and encouraged honour and respect among all the species, including the humans…

The Blessings of Dis, Book Two of The Gatherers Trilogy.

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