Happy sober holidays and Christmas festivities to everyone in the recovery blogging community and beyond! Thank you all so much for all the inspiring posts and encouraging comments that have helped me to stay sober this past year.
My French classic of mussels, moules marinieres without the wine, was delicious and the group of friends lively and very good company.
I woke to birdsong and brilliant sunshine this morning, banished the shadows of other unhappier Christmasses and set out garden furniture under the trees. We shall eat luncheon in the garden, some grilled tiger prawns and a crab curry, with salads and perhaps a few cheeses to follow. Keeping it simple is how I get through the festive seasons these days!
And as I rinsed and patted dry the cos lettuce leaves and wild rocket, I thought about the vulnerability of a new-born child and his equally vulnerable mother, her homeless and in danger but trusting in the bigger picture. Trusting it would all make sense in the long run, half-suspecting her heart would be pieerced through one day in the future.
My housemate Una always scoffs at the sentiments implied in the carol Silent Night, Holy Night.
‘It wouldn’t have been silent at all,’ she says with the hard-headed realism of a nursing sister.
‘That poor girl would have yelled her head off during labour and the baby would have come into the world bawling his precious lungs out, a good sign of healthy lungs.
‘And there must have been a mid-wife somewhere in amongst all those magis and shepherds and drummer boys. Men are useless at delivering babies. They have just forgotten to put the mid-wife in the story.’
The first time I saw a woman friend give birth, the pain and messiness and urgency and yes, noisiness of it all, I was horrified. But I also knew I was witnessing a miracle.
And that is how I feel about being here today with my blunted spiritual sensibilities and regrets and sadness, and the love of friends, and tiger prawns defrosting on the kitchen counter, and puppies playing with their Christmas gift of a rubber toy called Mr Blue, and the homeless out there on the hillsides needing clean water and bread, and the sun shining in through the windows, and everything coming back to that tiny child gazing out on the strange new world all around him.
Gratitude. Sobriety and gratitude are my own personal miracles.