I imagine Adam and Eve left Eden in the late spring, which must have made it harder. Leaving a garden in winter feels much less like a loss. But regardless, a garden has always been the essence of home, of civilization, of culture, of protection and bountiful life. That people don't always understand that now makes it no less true. To leave a home, to leave a garden, is always to be cast out.
We have thought of leaving our house, for the sake of a good school for our son and a nicer house for us. We can't seem to get our heads around it. Part of it is money - the house is deep, deep underwater - but the other part is our longing for home. Grant and I both left our Edens young, and until we met each other we never stopped moving. And now that we have sunk our roots, planted our garden, we cannot leave it.
God did not throw Adam and Eve from Eden - God sent them forth, two young things pulsing with life and knowledge, too full of it all to stay in the private garden of a parent. And so someday we will send our Noah forth from our garden, when impending adulthood tempts his hand to fruit we can't give him.
As I stare out at my winter garden, I know I am not leaving. This is my Eden, my creation, and as a child of God, I see that it is good. God never said Perfect. So I will enrich its goodness, dig deep, feed my child with its fruit till juice drips from his chin. And when the time comes, I will send him forth, waving from our garden gate.