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All You Need is a Microscope

To enjoy the present moment better

Close-up of red apple wet with dew hanging on a tree.
Imagine you are Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Imagine you are Eve in the Garden of Eden.

You don’t know it, but you’re about to experience a pivotal moment that will impact your life, and the lives of millions who come after you.

Don’t panic. This is just symbolism, not a real-life event. But it’s worth putting yourself there. To be Eve. In Eden. Under the apple tree laden with ripe, red juicy fruit shining in the dappled sunlight, while distant hills haze blue, the clear call of a wood thrush fills the air, and a warm breeze wafts soft tendrils of hair around your exquisite face.

But that’s the problem. The Garden of Eden is full of distractions.

‘Hey, lady,’ says the snake.

‘Hmm?’ says Eve, vaguely looking around at the brand-new world she’s been put in. She’s not paying attention to the momentous event unfolding before her. This is when a microscope would’ve been useful.

The word microscope comes from the Latin word microscopium — meaning an instrument for looking at small things.

If Eve had held a microscope, she would’ve observed many small things. The measuring stare of the snake, the cynical curl of its lips, the insinuating curves of its glistening, supple body twisting around the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Beckoning. Seducing. Deceiving.

‘Pick an apple,’ continues the snake. ‘It won’t hurt you. God won’t mind.’

‘Really?’ Eve says, watching two rabbits (there were only two to start with) frolic in the fresh daisy-dotted grass.

She absentmindedly reaches up, plucks the nearest apple, and takes a bite. Then another. Then another. And without even knowing what she’s done, she’s eaten the whole thing.

We’ve inherited this defective gene of Eve’s — the one that makes us do things without even knowing we’ve done them. We eat an apple without enjoying its smooth roundness in our hand, or the crunch and squirt of juice and subtle sweet flavour in our mouths. We don’t take any notice of the precious core that embraces the seeds that hold the potential to unleash another fruit tree.

It’s neither here nor there whether Eve ate a real apple in a real garden, but like all really good stories it carries many messages. If we’re to take only one lesson from Eve, let it be that we pay attention to what’s going on in the moment we find ourselves in. If we do this, we won’t make our lives more complicated than they need to be, like Eve did.

Living with mindfulness

If it helps, imagine you have a microscope and you take it everywhere you go.

Usually our eyes are blurred, not focussed. We’re looking but not seeing. And our minds follow suit. Our thoughts wander all over the place, anywhere but here, now.

But when we look at things through a microscope, our whole being concentrates on what’s before us. We focus on the object.

So, when we figuratively look at life through a microscope, we do the same thing. We focus. We notice details, pick up subtle clues, sense the unspoken, tune into deeper senses.

We don’t get caught out, like Eve did.

Try it.

Enjoy this moment.

With love, Marlane

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