The Little Things
The Little Things
This evening I walked out my front door. My door opens to a hallway with ascending stairs leading to outside. As I stepped out, I was immediately struck by how bright it was even though the hall lights were turned off. Glancing up I saw the full moon in clear view, right in the doorway leading to outside. Moonlight was pouring in, illuminating my surroundings with such beauty that only our lunar friend can provide. I paused a moment, took in the beauty then continued on my way.
Later this evening, a friend and I were driving home. I turned a corner into downtown and stopped my friend mid-sentence. “Look around,” I exclaimed. We both gazed in awe at the winter wonderland that surrounded us. Like I said, we were in the heart of downtown and all the trees that lined the streets were all lit up with Christmas lights. There were colors, bows and patterns of lights as far as the eye could see. To top it off, there was a massive decorated bow that crossed the road above us. It was such a delightful sight, stunning for a brief moment as we passed under the décor and up the road to our destination.
These scenarios remind me of a moment in early sobriety. I was riding in the passenger seat of my sponsor’s car. She glances over, shouts words of amazement and pulls over. She jumped out and ran up to an old run down house to get a better look. “What the hell,” I thought. “This is stupid and it’s cold out here.”
“Look at that house!” she said. “Isn’t it amazing?” She wandered around to see it from different angles. She must have sensed my annoyance because she looked up at me and paused. Noticing my apathetic attitude, she said something that I will never forget. She said, ”Oh yeah, you don’t see colors yet.”
That pissed me off! I see colors! I see all sorts of colors all the time. What the hell does she mean I don’t see colors?
I have pondered that experience periodically throughout my sobriety. I’ve come to the conclusion that no, early in my sobriety I couldn’t see colors. But by colors, I feel like she meant the basic general beauty in the world. I was too drunk or high most of my life to notice or care. Or I was experimenting with drugs to try to produce “colors” that were there all along, all I needed to do was notice.
Like every other spiritual experience in my recovery, this has come gradual. I didn’t just wake up one day and suddenly walk into colors like Dorothy did in “The Wizard of Oz”. I find myself appreciating the little things like the two experiences that occurred earlier today. It’s all the little things put together that make this sober life worth living.