One of the ways that I stay sober is by appreciating the natural world around me. From my very shaky beginnings when I could barely stay sober for an hour, never mind a day, I found great strength in seeing the beauty in nature.
In my using days, I was always looking for the great high and expecting the worst, never satisfied with the moment because something had to be better, grander, wilder, greater than this (whatever this was at the time). As I started to get a few weeks and months of sobriety under my belt, I found one of the best ways to strengthen my resolve to stay sober for today was to appreciate the small joys in my surroundings, the call of a bird, the dance of a leaf in fall, the smell of freshly mown grass.
That connection to nature has become a core part of my sobriety journey, and my spiritual path. And this past week it has kept me in its thrall. First we had a two-day blizzard on the weekend. We stayed home and stayed in, but took long looks at the amazing power of nature around us. One night I turned on the bright outdoor light we have at the back of our house and watched large snowflakes moving in crazy circles while smaller flakes blew sideways through the swirls in an endlessly varied and beautiful dance: it was breath taking! Then we were gifted with a sunny and warm day where everything sparkled (and we could actually get outside – getting rid of that cabin fever – and dig out from the drifts). Now it is cloudy, but this morning I got up earlier than usual and saw the sun sparkle at the tops of the leafless trees at it rose to herald the start of day.
This may not be the exciting life you seek, but I can say that my heart fills with gratitude at the beauty that surrounds me, especially now that I am living in the rural landscape near the sea that I love so much.
May you find the time to see the simple joys of the natural world, and to share in the deep contentment that I find there. It is awesome.