top of page

Our Garden of Eden

My mother, Eden, has always been a huge part of my life. Coming from the Philippines in her early 20s, she and I have gone through so much together ever since 2003. Here’s a love letter to the highs and lows of these last 19 years I’ve spent with you.

By Catherine Knox

365 days, a myriad of moments so dear

yet, the 346th night was so special

the moon was full that night, although I don’t remember,

stars aligned and the overcast of clouds had remained constant above

night prevailed, yet nothing but sunlight filled the room

scent thick, sweat running down your face and mine

your two arms intertwined with my fragile soul

and these eyes (turned light brown when the sun hits them) gazed up at you

ignorant, yet innocent

and though we yearned to tarry for just a while longer,

it was time to head back to the only home I will ever know

magical the night was,

so filled with new life and love,

joy itself flustered with jealousy

and happiness emerged from the moment of pure bliss

Born anew.

The years roll by

the smell of fresh lumpia with white rice that would deplete in no time

Anak, she would call me

the filipino term for child that would replace my birth name as a form of endearment

you take a deep breath as you walk through the doors and wonder -

would this moment last till the end of time?

how could it all change?

let us not calm the crashing waves just yet,

come what may.

through your eyes, i’ll grow

as will you.

Stronger than what is imaginable,

Strive higher than the heavens themselves

pierce each others souls

our beaming faces unable to lessen their pride

the plans we made and dreams we saw

brought to fruition at the lightest touch of possibility

the Philippines, even as a babe

there was no fear when you held my hand

through the streets of Cagayan

the beauty in the sky as the years went by

were consistent in our lives,

never fading for a split second,

even as the lightning struck the stars

and the sunrise brought forth life again and again

here, there, everywhere, all at once

we traveled onwards

to our own victory

those who build walls around us

shall never finish

the roots we’ve planted may pause in the dead of night,

temporarily unsustained.

when all is silent,

no sight of light is caught within our periphery

our garden of Eden

the ideal paradise for you and I

only when the bright light itself rises

we may find our roots breaking through mother earth’s precious ground

renewing this growth between you and I

and then all shall be well again

but surely, you must know

nights will come along,

darkness shall fall upon us all

one lightning strike, maybe two shall occur on those sleepless nights

which shall carry onwards into the presence of a dawn brought anew

all is well

winter shall bloom in autumn light

and the apricity we feel on our skin

shall set us free,

and all because of a beautiful night in 2003