I’ve been away from the island for a few days, visiting friends and family where I once lived. Their warm welcome and friendship means so much to me, and yet I sorely missed the island. I tried to think of precisely what I lacked, but couldn’t identify just one ingredient of the island’s attraction. When our son was young and we used to camp on an island in the Atlantic, I would return from vacation and feel a sad emptiness with me, as if I’d left behind something valuable and important. What was it? Was it the expanse of water and sky, the ever-shifting dunes, the timelessness of the shore, the proximity to nature and God? Perhaps it is all these things; perhaps it is my heart’s yearning for a simpler life, a life harmonious and peaceful, a life where activities are dictated not by external clocks but by internal rhythms and needs. I thank you, Lord, that you give us time and places where we can be recreated. Eden had no clocks, no cell phones, no beepers, no gadgets that locked Adam and Eve into an artificial world. I thank you for the peace and serenity of this island. Amen.