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.