News from the Noteworthy: September Is National Recovery Month

News from the Noteworthy

September Is National
Recovery Month

It is an opportunity to celebrate with those who, through one path or another, have survived the disease of addiction. One well-known path is a 12-step program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or Al-Anon, where groups of peers support each other through meetings, fellowship, and “working the steps.”

Regardless of their path, many in recovery use the arts, writing, poetry, and photography as expressions of healing. I know I did!

This poem (or set of poems) came from pondering the 12 steps.

It is a “Haiku Cycle.” I was drawn to the simplicity of envisioning each step as a short description of nature as the life of recovery moves through all of the four seasons.

Shared Beauty
Seasons of Growth

Chilling truth wakens
as hopeless addiction slays
manageable lives
Seeing with new eyes,
believing in the Divine
restores our pained minds
We, like bending trees,
surrender our will to Him
who lovingly guides
Sun shines through bare limbs.
Without apprehension we
count costs of the past
Uncovering wrongs,
the fear melts from our hearts as
we confess past deeds
Wings of hope grow strong;
preparing to molt useless
and errant coping
Like ripe wheat bowing
in cleansing rain, our humble
supplications roll
As rose petals fall
exposing the thorns of harm,
Contrition will come
Humble atonements
break the frozen grip of angst
as the old life fades
Sun sets on each day.
Our hearts and spirits are refreshed
before we sleep
Branches straining,
reach for the sky to soak in
the Creator’s gift
Like spring we’re renewed,
embracing all that we gained
then passing it on

The author, Julie Dostal, is executive director of
The LEAF Council on Alcoholism & Addictions, Oneonta.

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