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Gratitude for the Spiritual Program of AA

Alex, Canada

There is this plant that sits on a little table in our bedroom. I don't know what kind of plant it is, other than it is small and green and on many days looks like it might not make it. For the past couple of weeks, the plant has flowered. It is an odd sight. Something that looks like it is dying ........ to have these most beautiful flowers - pink, bright pink - that hang off drooping limbs and point toward the ground instead of the sun. Maybe the plant isn't dying, I really have no idea. I water it maybe too much. Sometimes I forget and it gets pretty dry. I move it into the sun, but sometimes I wonder if it gets too much light and I move it into the shade. There is no discernible pattern, it never seems to get much better despite my best efforts. It just seems to be on the precipice of not making it and yet every year around this time, it produces a beautiful display of bright pink flowers that point towards the ground.

So yesterday, I got on my knees and stuck my head under these flowers and looked up. The flowers smiled and I smiled back. For a few seconds, there was some mutual recognition and at the risk of being presumptuous, I think there was a moment of mutual appreciation. The plant tolerates my ignorance and ineptitude and appreciates that I do my best. I gave the little plant a kiss and thanked it for adding a little color into my life.

The moment with the flower was contrasted by a lunch with my parents who are breathing vestiges of generations of alcoholics. She is debilitated by cancer, intestinal illness, pancreatitis and pneumonia. He is deaf and mute from depression and addiction. He left early and I drove her home. She cried most of the way.

I don't know if my folks have another blossoming ahead of them, but I do know that they had one behind them. He was practical. He taught me how to work hard, how to create value and how to provide. He put me to bed with a song every night and made the world a safe place for me - he gave me roots. She was spiritual. She showed me love and truth and beauty. She read lines from Kahlil Gibran to me when I was angry and held me tight when I was sad - she gave me wings.

They both gave me the kind of childhood they had wished for themselves and today I am very grateful for that. I grew up knowing that the world was filled with good people and all I had to do was look for them. And that's exactly what I did, a few years ago when I was lost, and drunk, and angry and fearful. I looked around for the good people that I had heard about, that I knew were out there. The angels that wanted to help me and wanted nothing in return. And I found them. I've found those people that were described in my mom's poetry.

"And there are those who have little and give it all. These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty. They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breaths its fragrance into space. Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth."

Four years ago it was through your hands that God spoke and today it is through my eyes that he smiles upon the earth.

Love Alex

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