There are some deep, swampy pools on the island, places of dark water and exotic plants, pools where logs lie against the pool’s rim, and the air smells thick and filled with lush growth. When I approach these pools, I hear things slither and splash in escape. I know that most people avoid such places, but I have always found them fascinating. I tread lightly, but appreciate the swamp’s beauty. Deep shadows move in rhythmic patterns, lovely flowers bloom in brilliant colors against the black water, and life seems rich and luxuriant. If I’m still, I can watch turtles, frogs, and snakes resume their activities, ignoring my statue-like stance. I’m not afraid of the swamp, only appreciative of the diversity and abundance of life. Perhaps this was like Eden, this sense of green growth and damp abundance. I thank you, Lord, for the secret beauty of swamps and for the intricate beauty of those who inhabit them. They too are your creations and we, like Adam and Eve, are their caretakers. Amen.