Not Traveling Through Eden

The older I get, I seem to become less wise (if I ever was), and less tolerant of foolishness. The irony of that doesn’t escape me.

In my mind I’ve constructed a world where everyone does what they are supposed to do, where everyone is diligent and considerate, where you don’t have to hide that you feel “too much,” where honesty is the messenger of hope (not condemnation), and where people appreciate and cherish the gifts we are given: love, kindness, respect, and beauty among these.

Yet, the real world is none of those things. It could be argued that it is sometimes, but there’s no stability in the ever changing vaporous mix of human whims. Perhaps I’m so angry at the ephemeral nature of that “peace” because the underlying, grounding peace I once knew was torn away. Or at least, it was shown to be a costly imitation. I have no doubt that the truth of that exists somewhere, but for now the journey to find it may look to some like it’s not a journey at all.

If there is a “theme” to this blog, it is that hearts that are damaged and that have lost hope, are somehow still reached by the beauty of nature, by the wonder of God’s creation, and by the creatures whose very essence celebrates with exuberance, color, joy, and simply BEING. They are the echoes of Eden lost to us long ago. Here, I speak of what I know; you may or may not agree. That I can hear this call, that I in turn cry out to God when I do not know how else to answer – today, this is where the journey finds me.

The pathway of those echoes of Eden to our hearts is often fraught with any number of obstacles. Because, as I’ve said above, “the real world is none of these things.” We regularly disrespect or treat with violence each other, animals, birds, and our environment. Speaking of our selfishness is most often met with annoyance, not contrition. Situations – human and otherwise – like the abominable dolphin hunt in Taiji and the recent threat by USFWS to Operation Migration depress me terribly, although they are necessary to address. (See writeups on these issues on the right-hand side of this blog.) Joggers (good for you) and people who own dogs (I love dogs) who act like they own hiking trails frustrate me. Joggers who are nasty about their “right” to jog (and scare off birds and wildlife) on biological reserves infuriate me.

And yet, it is my anger and sometimes my despair that are the ultimate blockage to the entrance of my heart. And perhaps when I let go of those things I may be able to recognize other things. The person who stopped on the path at Bond Lake to admire a woodpecker with me. The jogger who courteously called out “on your right” instead of running me off the path. The people whose consciences do not fail and who take action every day to do what is right. Those who understand that God is beyond the formula that we once thought we knew. The voice beyond Eden is still calling. It’s speaking of a redemption beyond anything I’ve ever constructed in my mind – and beyond the innocence I thought was forgotten.

Some Recent Birding Photos You May Enjoy


DSCN3229 Song Sparrow_Mason Farm BR

Song Sparrow

DSCN2798 Rabbit_Mason Farm BR

Cute Bunny. (Ok, so it’s not a bird!)  🙂

DSCN2884 Winter Wren_Mason Farm BR

Winter Wren

DSCN2842 yellow-bellied flycatcher

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

DSCN2372 Northern Flicker_Mason Farm BR

Northern Flicker


DSCN1820 mallard drakes_Bond

Mallard Drakes

DSCN1747 Carolina Wren_Bond

Carolina Wren

DSCN4419 Eastern Bluebirds and House Finches_Bond Lake

Eastern Bluebirds and House Finches

DSCN4501 Palm Warbler_Bond Lake

Palm Warbler

DSCN4513 Chipping Sparrow_Bond Lake

Chipping Sparrow

DSCN4199 Double-crested Cormorant_Bond Lake-vert

Double-crested Cormorant

DSCN4165 White-throated Sparrow_Bond Lake

A “Grumpy” White-throated Sparrow


DSCN3917 White-throated Sparrow

A “Not Grumpy” White-throated Sparrow

DSCN2521 crow


DSCN3102 Eastern Towhees-horz

Female and Male Eastern Towhees

DSCN4743 Mockingbird with brunch


DSCN4764 Yellow-rumped Warbler with a beakful-vert

Yellow-rumped Warbler


  1. You touch my heart with every post you share with us. Your honesty and “humanness” awakens a bit of my spirit that I keep tucked away. Thank you so much Elle!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. CrabtowneMd says:

    Beautiful photos Elly. Thank you so much for spreading the word about the good work done through Operation Migration. Wishing people everywhere could learn to respect and honor the wonderful creatures and places on earth. Your writing flows like a song.
    Thank you for posting.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Carol Di Lernia says:

    Your musings are insightful and the pictures are lovely! ( even the not a bird photo!) 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. shirley wendell says:

    Thanks Elle for you words and your beautiful pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kat says:

    You rock, Elly. Love your posts, your openness, and your bruised but still open heart. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Chris LBbonne says:

    Thank you, Elly for this moving and inspiring post. Your passion for life vibrates in every word.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Deb says:

    You touch a chord with each post you write, Elly. I can relate to moments of anger and despair over what “should be” and how simple it should be for people to see and do the right thing. But with each post, with each link to a problem, and with each of your lovely photos of nature at its purest, you make a difference…and there is hope.

    Liked by 1 person

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