Adam leaned into Eve on their bed. The house was quiet – too quiet. It had not bothered him before, but now it called out to him continually.
“Do you hear, my wife?” he spoke to her ear.
“Hear what, my husband?” she answered drowsily.
“The silence. It is to me as the silence of the animals.”
Eve turned to look at him in the semi-darkness.
“What is on your mind, husband?”
“I feel an urge to move on – out of this stillness. We once had a family. Now even Aliv is thinking of leaving, to go to new places. She is drawn away from us. We will be alone. This is not good, my wife.”
Eve lay still, thinking. Then she sighed.
“I know what you mean. But how can we start over? I have not bore children for a long time. Am I still able?”
“Only Ad-Rham can answer that question, my darling. But if you will agree to it, I will seek Him and ask Him if this can happen. If you are willing.”
“I am willing, Adam!” she said as she embraced him, shivering with ideas. “I think – yes, it is better to start over! We could have a family again! If Ad-Rham is willing, He could help me bear children. You once saw a vision of me, surrounded by children. I had forgotten, but now I am reminded. So, we need to go – together - and seek Him.”
Adam smiled in the darkness, contentment welling up.
“We will have a big family this time,” he mused, squeezing Eve tight. “Much bigger than we had before. That is my wish.”
“Oh, Adam, I am with you. I feel the same way. This time we will not allow loss to take everything. We will plan wisely, and make room for many.”
“My little planner,” Adam smirked, teasing her. “It is good that we start with knowledge this time. We will make adjustments and be more prepared, and so ease the way.”
“We know so much more now than we did then,” Eve agreed. “This house will become well served to fit our new family. And then you could add rooms, if need be.”
“I will see to it,” Adam promised.
There was great happiness in their talk that time, and for many nights after that.
Adam and Eve were both eager to speak to Ad-Rham. They walked together into a field where they called out to Him. It was Abel's field, where he had been murdered. In the same spot where Adam had found him dead they stood together, fingers intertwined. They still sorrowed for Abel, but now a new hope was emerging.
“Ad-Rham! Please hear us!” Adam called out with a loud cry. As he kept calling, Eve stood beside him, shy and expectant at the hope of seeing Ad-Rham.
And He came. He walked towards them across the field with steady steps, and as they saw Him they began to run toward Him, joy on their faces. They ran as they had run in the Garden to find His arms opened wide to receive them, a great smile on His face.
The angels with the First Couple were all around Him, covering the sky and the ground around where they met Him, amazed and exhilarated to see the LORD walk the Earth. His laughter rolled out loud and joyful as He embraced His friends.
“Adam – Eve!” He said. “How good it is to be here with you!”
“Dearest Ad-Rham!” Eve sighed, giddy with emotion of being restored to His presence.
Adam looked up into His face, his own face beaming, and noticing Ad-Rham’s face also beaming with great joy.
“I see a gladness in You, Ad-Rham,” he said as he watched His face. “I feel You know why we have come.”
“Maybe I do. And maybe I called you here, before you called Me.”
Adam and Eve stared dumbfounded at Him and at each other. The ring of angels around them moved, rising and coming near, like a continual wave or heartbeat that seemed to be an extension of the LORD's joy. Ray stood next to the Couple, near Eve, and felt the throbbing of her heart as she glowed with pleasure. I am ever so glad! He is just the same now as He was in the Garden! And He looks at me just the same – as if the trouble had never overtaken us. How can this be?
Adam continued to look up into Ad-Rham's face – drinking in His strength, basking in the joy that radiated from Him. He himself seemed to grow – layers of hardship began to fall off his shoulders, his mind cleared and expanding in understanding. Eve's reaction was different, but none-the less breath-taking; she stood in silent awe, and in her worship her very core began to stir and warm – to Ray it looked as if it was being touched by golden liquid.
“Oh!” she gasped. “I feel heat – warmth – come over me! It is as if I'm coming alive. My whole being is on fire!” She laughed hilariously, her arms still around Him. She buried her face in His clothes, shaking. “Oh, Ad-Rham! Do with me what is Your good will! I am willing!”
“Yes, Ad-Rham,” Adam agreed. “I would ask that You do for Eve that which You showed me so long ago to give me hope – that we would not be alone, but be surrounded by the children You would give us. Here in this place I lay before You our request – make us a new family, a big family. Let us not die again, but be full of life! For life is better than sorrow, and many is greater than few.
“I have heard your request,” Ad-Rham answered. “And it shall be to you as you have asked. Even today I ordain a new season on you - one of joy and well-being, and that of restoration upon your beings. You will be called 'Father of the Lands of the Earth,' and you, Eve, 'the Mother of Many Lands.' From you will spring blessing on the Earth, and I will not wipe out your offspring or let your light go out in darkness. Because you desire this, I will richly bless you and increase you, and you will see your children's children to many generations. Trouble will come on the Earth, and it must come because of the seed of wickedness that was released in the Garden, but I will also release Life that will overtake you and bring you into My presence. Be at peace now, and know that I have answered your prayer and will fulfill your desires.”
And He released them and went on His way – as He always does, releasing His presence to linger after His manifestation was gone. Adam and Eve fell to their knees in utter reverence and gratefulness, and among the angels there was not one that was not moved with great emotion. It was a holy moment, a great turning point in the lives of Adam and Eve. Even with the first four children there was not as great of a glory poured out over Eve as what was released now. She basked in the glory of the LORD's after-glow, and their guardians could see His blessing of life resting on her and entering her to do a mighty work. Adam too looked different at that moment. His face and hair shone, and he looked stronger and more agile than Rune had ever seen him since the Fall. It was as if the dew of the LORD had fallen on him, and he had soaked it up into his body.
They went away blessed, and within days Ray could tell that new life was forming in the womb of Eve. Ray herself had been strengthened to help her through child-bearing again, and this time she knew that it would be a greater task than before. Beside her were her two assistant guardians, Sereadadie and Rain; and they, too, solemnly stood, receiving instruction and ability to assist the First Woman. It was a glorious moment. The golden liquid the LORD had poured into Eve’s womb was an anointing of life - to carry and bear children. Her womb had been shut off and had to be re-started, and the LORD did it at this time.
* * *
Eve was in the yard picking fruit from a tree, feeling joyful and singing softly. She was thinking about Aliv and conversations they had recently had that had brought them closer together.
I am grateful for the love of Ad-Rham, the Creator of the world and of everything I need. Thank you for helping me with my family and with Aliv.
Her thoughts became random and she started thinking about a conversation she and Aliv had had about the reproductive system and how one could tell a pregnancy - although Aliv had basically no chance of getting pregnant now that she did not have Abel.
Then Eve froze in her thoughts. Her hand paused in the work, and she looked a little like a statue, standing with her hand up and looking at nothing.
The monthly blood. When did I have mine last? I have not thought of it for a long time. Aliv has been having hers, but I have not had mine. Am I pregnant? After these many years? I have felt strange recently…I should talk to Adam.
Eve left her basket where it was and ran to the field Adam was working in. It was past the noon hour, and Aliv had already taken Adam his lunch and come back. Eve gave a little laugh and a quick prayer that she would be pregnant and that this was not a trick or a misunderstanding.
She saw Adam in the middle of the field and ran toward him. When he looked up and saw her, he waved. She got to him and wrapped her arms around him. She could smell the earth and sweat coming off of him, and was reminded of the hard work that he put in for her and their family. A growing family.
“Eve, what is this about?” Adam asked with a soft laugh.
Eve leaned back and looked into his smiling face. She also beamed with happiness.
“Adam…I-I think,” she began.
Adam looked at her expectantly. “Yes?”
Though he had no idea what it could be, he understood that it was important enough to make Eve come running to him in the field.
“Adam, I think I am pregnant.”
Adam’s face changed from curiously happy to shocked, and then to amazed and excited.
“W-what!? Really? Are you sure?” he asked, looking at her.
Eve nodded her head. “I believe so, but we should check with Ad-Rham.”
Adaam nodded his head. “I agree wholeheartedly.”
They started talking to Ad-Rham right then, and He answered them. They were going to have a child, and they were going to be blessed with many children.
Adam and Eve were so excited that they ran together back to the house to tell Aliv. She was glad for them, but it made her have doubts. Adam and Eve were oblivious to it, and they danced in the middle of the room with excitement. This brought on even more uncertainty to the lonely Aliv.
* * *
The new baby was developing and Eve was resting, but Aliv had been up since dawn. Ray had seen her move about, restless, anxious. Free, too, was in a constant flutter around her, touching her mind frequently with her hands, speaking softly to her.
When Eve began to stir, Ray walked with her charge around the house, attentive to Aliv's comings and goings. Aliv helped quietly with breakfast, focusing on the task. Eve did not notice her agitation; her thoughts were on the new child, and on a new season. There was such contentment on her in those days; a willingness to walk forward with new hope.
Eve and Aliv were in the garden when Aliv finally made up her mind. Ray sat nearby, talking with Free. Suddenly Free straightened, looking at her charge. Then she turned to Ray and spoke.
"Ray," she said. "Aliv is about to leave. I must bid you and the others farewell."
Ray was troubled. They had all known that this day would come - Aliv parting with Free - but now it felt sudden.
Free started to bid the other angels farewell. Then she went over to Eve and placed her hands on her shoulders. Eve started glancing every so often at Aliv, as if something troubled her. Free came back after saying her last farewells, and then it happened. Aliv turned to Eve and said:
"Mother. I must leave home."
Eve looked up. It did not surprise her that Aliv brought up the subject of leaving; she had talked about it before. But now as she looked at her daughter and saw that Aliv had reached a decision, her heart tore in two. The last of her first four children was declaring her decision to leave. Leave... just as her other children had done.
"Why?" she asked. "Aliv, do not say such things! Abel is gone. Cain is gone. Even your sister Tarishia is gone!" Eve took a deep breath, allowing herself time to calm down and give Aliv freedom to choose. "What shall you do?" she asked. "Where will you go?"
"Mother, I will go," Aliv replied. "You will have my new sibling; but I shall never marry. Tarisha left to find Cain, but I cannot leave to find Abel, so I must do the next thing: I will live as he did most of his life, with the creatures of this Earth."
She paused and looked at Eve.
"Do not fear, Mother; I am not leaving you or Father forever. But I must go before this child is born. What if it should be a male child?"
Aliv stood to her feet and wiped her hands on her dress. Eve glanced at her daughter and then also stood.
"Aliv! Are you going now?"
"I am," Aliv replied. "Mother, you and Father will lelp
arn of where I am. I will settle, but not here, not when my brother and sister roam and my love lies still in the grave. I must bid farewell to every one of my future siblings, for they will never know of me. Only you and Father shall; and Cain and Tarisha, if they shall ever return."
Eve reached out, her tears falling on her dark skin. She tipped her daughter's chin up to look at her one more time. They were so opposite: Eve with her blond, long hair, Aliv’s shoulder-length and red; Eve’s dark skin and blue eyes, and Aliv with her pale complexion and hazel eyes; Eve tall and sturdy, and Aliv small and slender.
Eve had known the stress the emptiness of the house was causing Aliv – the absence of the laughter of her siblings; the voice of Abel to comfort her, the teasing of Cain, the gentleness of Tarishia. She was the only one left; and now, with the coming of a new child, she was not able to bridge the gap of her own childhood and the fellowship of the family she had known with what was coming. Neither could she move on without Abel in that same place. She needed a new home.
Eve knew all this instinctively. Ray could feel her heart reverberate with knowledge and understanding. Although it saddened her that Aliv could not choose to stay and intertwine with the new and find life the way Adam wanted her to, she understood.
"Then go, my daughter," Eve said. "But first, bid your father farewell, so that it is well with him."
"I shall, Mother." Aliv replied. She removed her mother's hand from her chin and held it fondly. "Good-bye, Mother. I will return and guide you and Father to where I will live."
She released the hand, and Eve wished she had not, for it was the tie that bound them together. Now it was broken. It would never be the same. She watched as Aliv started walking from the house, leaping over the wall. Eve smiled sadly. She would never see her do that again.
She wanted to call for Aliv to return, but every time Aliv turned and waved, Eve bit her tongue and waved back, though neither of them smiled. Grief tore at Eve’s heart. And then Aliv disappeared.
Eve lowered herself to the ground, weeping. She had lost her first four children.
She had no heart for the garden now. She continued to weep, and all three of her guardians surrounded her. No words of comfort helped her; not even the word they heard from the LORD. The guardians turned to each other, wondering what to do. Then Sereadadie said:
"She should go inside and lie down."
"I would have said it more gently, but yes, I agree," Rain nodded.
Ray nodded and stated the obvious. "But how? She has no strength to even stand." The three stared at each other. Then Ray nodded again, and all three translated into the world of humans.
Eve did not notice them for several minutes, and they stared at her. Then Rain gently
touched her arm.
"Eve," she whispered. Eve looked up, and then smiled as she recognized them.
"It is you.." she said, her voice weak from sorrow.
"We are here to help you." Ray knelt down. "Come, let us carry you back inside."
She took hold of one of Eve’s arms. Rain supported her back, and Sereadadie took the other arm. As they lifted her, Eve went with them, weak and surprised.
"You… are still with me?"
"Of course we are," Rain smiled at her. "Especially at times like these."
Eve smiled wistfully.
"Be still," Rain said as they lowered Eve onto her bed. "You are safe."
They sat around her.
"Close your eyes and breathe," Ray instructed. "We are right here."
Eve did so, and suddenly Ray found herself singing.
Can separation last an eternity?
Can death last forever?
There is nothing but the LORD that will.
Remember and be glad,
Though your heart may be as heavy as stone.
Let your tears fall,
And know: some glad morning will arise again.
No separation lasts eternally,
No death can last forever.
The LORD, trust in Him,
There is more of Him than the Earth can ever know.
So, memory and loss will come to their end.
And what is created shall be undone.
There is a newness to come.
And nothing lasts forever:
Unless it is the LORD,
And what He deems to be eternal.
(here Rain and Sereadadie joined her in song)
Remember and be glad,
Though your heart may be as heavy as stone.
Let your tears fall,
And know: some glad morning will arise again.
When their voices faded, Eve was peacefully sleeping, and the three guardians returned to their realm.
* * *
Aliv traveled to the field where her father tilled the land. The freshly turned soil was pleasant, and the songs of the birds delightful. But Aliv’s heart was heavy, as it had been since her siblings had gone.
Adam was underneath a tree, resting. Aliv stopped. Her father was in a state of rest. Would she cause him to lose it by telling him the news? But then she continued. Adam opened his eyes, and they smiled as they focused on the coming figure. Aliv did not speak until she reached him.
"My daughter," Adam responded.
"I have something to tell you, Father," Aliv said, her eyes wells of grief. Adam leaned away from the tree to lay a hand on the girl's shoulder.
"Speak, and do not be afraid."
"I must go, Father," Aliv said. "There is nothing for me if I stay. I am going to live in the wilderness with the creatures, as Abel did."
"Yes, Father," Aliv affirmed. "I cannot stay any longer. My mind is set. Tarishia is gone. You will need to restart with my new sibling. I will return when I have a home once again, but I will uphold my vow."
"I have broken your vow," Adam reminded her, but Aliv shrugged.
"But I am going. I will uphold the vow I alone have made. Mother knows. Good-bye, my father."
"Good-bye, my daughter. If you are set on going, then I bless you in your ways. May Ad-Rham's wisdom be always with you."
Aliv smiled at her father and then turned, allowing the tears to flow. As she reached the top of the slope she turned and waved. And then she was gone. She headed north and east, toward the Garden.
* * *
If it were not for the fact that a new child was on its way, the parting would have been very difficult for Adam and Eve. As it was, Eve saw that it was somehow fitting to say good-bye and allow Aliv a secluded life, close to nature. In the next few weeks, Eve comforted Adam also at this new loss - the absence of Aliv in their home.
There was a different kind of quiet in the house now, and not all for the bad. Aliv's passionate mourning of her brother had added mourning to the home. When she left, Adam and Eve were free to step out completely from their time of mourning and be young in heart again. They had the house to themselves. They were free to be around each other and enjoy each other's company wholeheartedly, and to prepare with great anticipation for the coming child. They forgave themselves and their older children for how it had turned out, and they knew that there was a new grace coming on them to start over.
The load was light with just the two of them there, and it became a 'house of dreams' – a place of solitude, soft evenings, shared hopes, and laughter. Eve leaned more fully on her husband for fellowship, and Adam enjoyed having his wife free from normal toil – which he knew would soon be on them again. She would even go out to the field with him many days, sitting in the shade of trees and sharing his breaks with him. Adam did not like being away from her for long stretches of time, and Eve craved the company.
Of course they missed Aliv. They wondered where she would be at, and they called on Ad-Rham to protect and guide her and help her find a place to call home. Aliv had promised to come and see them once she had established herself, and this also added peace to their thoughts and minds.