Return to the Hills of Eden

Eden is where you find it. If you lose it, you can find it again.  Eden is, after all, a place where the heart is in harmony with not only this earth, but the entire universe.

We left the Ozarks, our Eden, and have been living in Texas. But our hearts stayed behind, lingering in those green hills like lost and lonesome souls.  Now, we are coming back.  Coming back home. Back to our Eden.

A different one than we had.

And, we are not in Missouri or Arkansas. We are buying three acres in Oklahoma, very near the Arkansas border where lies Van Buren and Fort Smith. So, when we need big cities, there they are, very close.

The drive from our corner of Texas up to that small realm of hills where our property lies is a thrill each time we make the trip.  The feeling of rapture begins when we enter the Ouachita National Forest in Oklahoma.

That’s where the land begins to tug at me, to take me into its leafy green arms and hold me tight.  All the cares of the world drop away as if I have drunk some magic potion, some elixir that transforms my senses and transports me back to Eden, my Eden.

So, we have placed our Texas property up for sale.  Since there is nothing on the Oklahoma hill except a cement foundation big enough for a small cottage, we will have to build a new home there.  The plumbing pipes are all in place, but there is nothing there except that slab and the beautiful grass and trees encircling that homesite.

In the meantime, when we go there, we sleep in a tent.  We have a table with my Coleman camp stove, carry water in that we buy at the local Piggly Wiggly, and chairs we hauled there to sit in during the days and evenings.

Each afternoon a pleasant breeze springs up and wafts through our campsite.  There are no near neighbors and the property is at the end of a dead-end street.

It is quiet and peaceful there on that three acres.  It is a small Eden, but free of stress. I work on my laptop in the shade, and look at the pecan trees, the cedars, the pines.

What more could a man ask for than this, I wonder.

Nothing more.

Here, in this new Eden, there is peace and harmony.  There is a feeling of well-being that cannot be measured.

I am back in Eden where I will spend my waning days under a sky that seems so graceful and serene it must have been born long ago, over a different Eden, and grown wise with time.

And, when I am there, back in Eden, I realize that this is where I belong.

This is where I’ve always belonged.

And, now, I have returned to my home.  That green home in Eden.

Jory Sherman is author of Hills of Eden, a beautiful portrait of the Ozarks country from one of the nation’s most prolific writers and a Pulitzer Prize nominee. The Book is available from


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