A boy is born blind. For the first few years of his life he knows nothing about color, about the sky or clouds. All he knows is what he can feel with his hands. He can feel the bark on a tree but can’t picture what the total tree is like. He feels the fur and the tail on his puppy but doesn’t really know what it’s like or what a puppy is. He can taste food and even run his hands over a piece of bread but he can’t really see what it looks like. He can hear music but doesn’t really understand the word orchestra or piano or guitar. He feels the face of his loved ones with his hands but the features don’t have a total picture to him. The word, ‘color’ means nothing to him. He must escape into his imagination and pretend that what he feels looks like what he thinks. He is used to his world because he doesn’t know any other. His world is dark.
When he is eight years old the doctors tell his parents that there is an operation that can give him sight. They are amazed. How can this be? They had never thought it possible. But it is. The little boy has the operation. For several days afterwards his eyes are bandaged. Then comes the day when the bandages come off. The doctor wheels him out to the patio garden at the hospital followed by his parents, hope in their faces. The doctor kneels down and whispers something to the young boy. Then with a smile he begins to unwrap the bandages. His parents hold their breath. Soon all the bandages are removed and the boy’s eyes are closed. The doctor tells him to open them.
At first everything is a blur and his face is expressionless. His world that had always been black now has a white coating on it. He blinks his eyes and they begin to focus. The first thing he sees is a rosebush in front of him. He stares at it, disbelief in his eyes. The doctor says, “That is a rose, a flower you are looking at. It is painted in the the color pink and the other color is on the branches and the leaves. It is called green.”
The boys mouth widens as he looks around him at the trees and the lawn. Then he turns and looks up at the doctor. He didn’t know a face really looked like that. Then his parents kneel in front of him. “This is your father and this is your mother”, says the doctor. The boy takes his hand and places it on his mother’s cheek, a sense of wonder in his eyes. His father takes his hand and for the first time he sees his father.
“What is that on your face?” he asks.
“It’s called a beard.”
All three begin to hug as tears roll down their cheeks. As the boy’s eyes focus his world of sight is more beautiful than he had ever imagined.
This is what it was like for me when I finished recovery. When I had my 12th step, Having had a spiritual experience as a result of these steps we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs, my sight was restored. I remember the day when I had this experience. After years of abuse and abusers, suicide attempts, psychiatric wards, and too many unhealthy behavior patterns since my father first raped me when I was thirteen, I wondered when I would come to the end of my journey. I had gone through five years of recovery working what I would later call the REPAIR Your Life program, rid myself of my abuser, completed all 11 steps, and faced all my demons but where was my 12th step? Had I done recovery correctly? Had I missed something? My house overlooked a huge wilderness park, with mountains on one side, Green River flowing at its base and a meadow filled with cottonwood and oak, wild flowers and tall, green billowing grasses. I lived in a guarded gate community and every morning I walked up to the clubhouse, followed the outside where the tennis and basketball courts were and began my trek on the path, talking to God as I went. The following is an excerpt from my memoir, I Never Heard A Robin Sing.
“The sun peeked its head along the horizon in front of me. A split second before it showed its face the birds began chirping, a beautiful symphony to herald the arrival of morning, as it lingered with magic in the air. The meadow flowers were in rich abundance of every color. The fragrance was overwhelming as I sniffed trying to grasp it all to me.
All of Mother Nature seemed tuned to perfection as I moved slowly along the path and into the meadow. Sun-dappled images filtered through the sky, creating a different world. Filled with rapture, I stood in the meadow as all of my senses came together into one. All of a sudden, I felt as if God had taken my hand in his and gently transported me out of my body so that I was free-floating. Together we completed the final of the Twelve Steps: Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs. My journey was over but I knew that my life’s work was going to be carrying the message of hope to others who, like me, had lived in a dark prison most of their life. Words, gently dancing in the morning air, filled my mind as I composed the final poem of my recovery.
The sun comes creeping through the hills
That range near the river beds.
Cottonwoods spray the air
With their white and fuzzy heads.
Springtime flowers sparkle there
As if to compensate
For the drab and dreary meadow weeds
That lay in abundant state.
Oak trees spread their saucy skirt,
Made of brilliant green
Above the path that I walk upon
While they bend and bow and preen.
The mist in the meadow follows me
Like a cautious, curious child
As it dips and sways in a dance of life
Through a morning meek and mild.
I stop for a moment and listen there
To birds tune their instruments.
The melody enchants my ears
Shadowing every other sense.
Darting creatures from underbrush
Scamper across my trail.
I laugh out loud with purest joy
And shout to them a hale.
I stand and gaze at the mountain tops
That thrust up to the sun
And rapture spills throughout my being
For God and I are one.
And as I stand so quiet there
His hand is placed in mine
And I hear His voice with modest sound
As it travels for all time.
He gazes off at the meadowland
While a breeze meanders by
And says to me with quiet pride
“I do good work, don’t I?”
The words seemed symbolic of how radiantly healthy I now felt. A deep sense of coming home enveloped me as tranquility settled on my shoulders and crept into my bones. I could feel myself letting go of my father as my last thoughts to him floated out into the air.”
I had regained my sight.
On this week of Thanksgiving my blessings are so many I can scarcely count them all. I am happy, I am stable, I have a full life, a wonderful husband and am matriarch of a huge family who I love very much.
I have regained my sight and for that I give thanks to my Creator.
(If you too would like to see the world anew start recovery by getting a copy of REPAIR Your Life. Follow along in I Never Heard A Robin Sing to see how I accomplished this. It will open your eyes)