Gratitude for me is a matter of perception.  It usually requires that I shift the kaleidoscope of my perception a few degrees away from my normal gaze and onto one of more light, beauty, and love.  Often this shift is thrust upon me like when I am driving North up Highway 1 and I turn a curve in the road revealing a breathtaking view of the expanse of the Pacific Ocean with rocks and waves below the cliffs.  Or when I suddenly glance up and see the blue sky above with soft white clouds drifting by.

          I find myself grateful for nature   

                        A soft yellow duckling in the Spring

                   Hearing the wind blowing through the trees

                   A bee landing upon a flower

                   The hooting of a barn owl in my backyard at night.

          I find myself grateful for people in my life

                   Friends who greet me at an AA meeting

                   The safety and comfort I feel snuggled in bed next to my beloved

                   Looking into the loving eyes of my sponsor

                   Meeting a new sponsee and seeing the wonder and hope in their eyes.

          I am grateful for physical health

                   For being able to walk five miles every day

                   For waking up sober and turning my life over to a Higher Power

                   For being able to see, hear, smell, and touch

                   For feeling the strength in my legs.

          But most of all I am grateful for the gift of sobriety for without it I would not be experiencing any of the things listed above.  I would be lost in a prison of my own making yet not knowing any way out.  I remember my last drunk and am humbled to my knees at the incredible transformation that has occurred in my life since walking into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous.  A new way of living full of grace and opportunity has emerged out of the darkness.  All that was required was surrender and trust.

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