Tales from the Garden of Earthly Delights

Stepping Stones 

Take it Day by Day my Friend 

The familiar voice gently woke Baby Boy up. 

He rubbed his eyes, stretched, and cleared the pollen from his face. 

He looked around, and a blurry mess of gold and black passed his face. 

He rubbed his face, seeing three 6-foot tall bumble bees gently flying away from the an orchid flower petal.

He rubbed his eyes again. 

The ground began to split open, attempting to swallow Baby Boy whole, all around him he could see thick vines with thorns consuming his flower bed. 

Flying up above, Tea, Baby Boy’s stepmother, said “Just like the sun, we rise and we fall.” 

Baby Boy looked down, this time seeing the mouth of a venus flytrap swallowing up the earth beneath him.

Tea flew over to Baby Boy with her butterfly wings and grabbed him by his heel. 

Eboney, her twin, danced a marimba in the sky behind them. “And just like the night we’ll fall but never break,” she said. 

The three of them flew to safety near a crowd cemented in stone.  

Tea let Baby Boy down on the green grass and he looked towards the Flytrap devouring his flower bed. 

“I’ve had dreams like this,” Baby Boy said. 

“I always said you had your head in the clouds,” Eboney replied.  

“We’ll never see him come back down,” Tea joked.  

Take it Day by Day my Friend 

“Did you hear that?” Baby Boy looked around for the voice then at Tea and Eboney, “Is that just me?” 

Tea and Eboney shrugged their shoulders and buzzed around, adorning and draping their feather boas on the statues of Earthly Delights. 

“For every seed, there’s a growing tree,” Baby Boy said as he peered over to the Fountain of Memory. 

Tea and Eboney followed and together they pointed and exclaimed, “That’s not a tree.” 

In the distance between them, broken stone monuments of past days, littered the Garden’s rolling hills and lush green valleys. 

The voice kept repeating to Baby Boy: Take it Day by Day, my friend. 

Baby Boy looked up to Nirvana’s cotton candy clouds and down towards the black tar guarded by the fallen angels of River Styx, unsure of where the voice came from. 

But he continued past the crescent moon-faced women dancing near the boats to Avalon and mounted a table’s feast of satirist kings & queens being spoon fed plastic grapes. 

Tea and Eboney just watched in awe as Baby Boy stomped all over their plastic feast. 

As Baby Boy jumped off the table, the kings & queen's to proud to even notice, he sprinted past the forest of gumball roses towards Purgatory’s gates where he was stopped by a man in a pale, empty suit. 

“What U Want, Ain’t What U Need. Your generation - full of greed," the Suit said. 

“A dream.” 

“A revolution, Baby Boy, plant the seed,” said the Suit. 

From the Suit's empty head grew a mirror that reflected Baby Boy. 

Take it Day by Day, my friend. 

The familiar voice was getting louder. 

Baby Boy touched the mirror and it melted. He ran past the Empty Man and towards the Fountain of Memory a half a mile away and then he stopped at the edge of its basin.  

He peered in, expecting his reflection back, but instead a dirty, rooted hand took him by the collar, pulling him in. 

Tea and Eboney, a little further behind, stung by gumballs and covered in cranberry sauce, frolicked to the fountain’s basin. 

“Everyone knows when you’re gone, you’ve got to give it up,” said Tea, licking cranberry off her flapping wings. 

“But everyone knows when you’re far from gone, you’ve got to fill your cup,” said Eboney, taking a cupful of the fountain to drink.  

Baby Boy thought he was drowning in the fountain until he opened his eyes, and instead of crashing waves, he saw a great ivory room full of ancient trees, breathing and living like the Earthly Delights' had said in their stories. 

In the middle, the living room bore a bright apple core vibrating a sweet "Aum."Baby Boy noticed a sweetness tinging the air and biting his skin cold. 

Baby Boy caught his breathe. 

Take it Day by Day, my Friend 

The rooted hand that stole him began to move away from him, and Baby Boy's eyes followed the great root's path towards the end of a stone pathway.  

“For every rock there’s a stepping stone,” the tree said, inviting Baby Boy into his world with a mossy smile. 

“One that takes you further than before,” Baby Boy said back. 

He recognized the words as an old limerick he used to sing. 

Baby Boy followed the stone pathway to the old growth’s trunk, this time with his legs. 

“What’s your name?” he asked as he looked up towards the 20 foot tall tree and began walking towards it. 

“Mozzy,” he said, towering over the young man, “You seem lost, child.” 

Baby Boy wasn’t sure how to answer, at this point he thought sage-trees were extinct.  

"I-uh,' he said. 

“Come my way,” Mozzy said. 

“Ok, but I’ll go my way too." 

“Of course," Mozzy said with a content smile. 

Baby Boy followed Mozzy like a student while the sage-tree's ancient roots creaked and wrapped as he walked. 

When Mozzy stopped, Baby Boy did too. 

Mozzy looked back with a toothless smile and took Baby Boy with his hand and drew him closer to his beating heart. 

Mozzy pointed towards the great apple at the core of the ivory room. 

"You see that?" Mozzy asked. 


Mozzy pointed towards Baby Boy's heart and then his own, "The same thing." 

Baby Boy got shy and he looked towards the apple again.

The apple was attached to an even bigger tree branch, that appeared to beat life back up towards the Garden - his home. 

As Baby Boy looked up, the fountain dripped from overhead, creating ripples on the ivory floor.  

Inside the apple core, a beat, not unlike his own heart, not unlike the same pulsing beat to Mozzy’s heart, played on. 

Baby Boy got scared and looked away. 

“Why do you say goodbye?” Mozzy said with a warm smile, “How come you say goodbye? With all those troubles in your eyes. Why do you say goodbye?” 

Baby Boy stopped, stared into Mozzy, and then the apple core again.   

“What is this?” 

“I’ll be right here beside you. Looking out into the stretch,” Mozzy said. 

Baby Boy inched closer to the apple core, and took the edge of his finger tip to touch it.

Inside the core, a supernova burst, and the great expanse of Baby Boy’s lives revealed themselves, in harmony. 

“When this world finally comes to an end, I’ll be right there beside you. Remembering all the words you said.” 

Baby Boy took a breath and closed his eyes. 

"Like Take it Day by Day, my friend." 

In that moment Baby Boy opened his eyes and he noticed three 6-foot tall bumble bees gently bouncing from the large petal of the white orchid flower he slept on. 

“Just like the moon, It comes to him in his dreams” Tea buzzed around. 

“And it rocks his soul to sleep,” said Eboney. 

Baby Boy looked at Tea and Eboney then towards Nirvana and Styx. 

"Rocks my soul to sleep," he said.

He saw the centuries-war still raging on and the aimless wanderers cemented in stone. He saw the Garden's trees cut down and replaced with plastic kings & queen's indulging their ignorance. 

He looked back at his hands and remembered Mozzy's words. 

He looked up towards Tea and Eboney again. 

"You know, when this world comes to an end, I'll be right there beside you. Remembering all those words you said." 

Like Take it Day by Day, my Friend.