Wonder and Beauty I See

I just completed my annual 4th and 5th step. I’m lucky in a sense that I first got sober in spring. Spring cleaning in AA feels good, creates hope and as a life-long ‘avoider’ and procrastinator, it helps me to not let life build to the point of becoming an insurmountable mountain of lingering problems, most relatively small when they first began.

When I was first sober, I had two large black plastic garbage bags bursting with unopened mail (bills, IRS communications, collection notices, birthday and holiday cards, even some significant out of date refund and rebate checks)! I still get anxious when the mail carrier turns down our street, but I’ve no bags of unopened mail hidden in the back of closets.

This year, I did a 4th step that had two main columns (Things I do that Help and Things I do that Harm) subheadings for each were help/hurt me or others. It reminded of progress not perfection because bingeing on Netflix showed up in both and though I take fewer things personally, the slightest perception of personal criticism puts me in defensive posture for a time.

Another item that showed up for the first time and on the Help side was related to last weeks poem, Resilience. I am beginning to thrive even in the face of adversity rather than just survive from a never-ending series of crises that deplete body, mind and spirit.

The other thing that came through sharing my 5th step with my sponsor and a sponsee, is that life is mostly okay to pretty damn good. So often I focus on ‘faults’, ‘harms’, the ‘ugliness of all that is bad in the world’. My hope, my intention is to be consciously aware of the good, the wonder, the beauty in life. Thank goodness that is now easier to do in spring.


This little patch of earth
Beneath my feet
Mere inches across
And deep
I feel its hum and thrum
Mysteries abound
And unfold
Living earth


The beauty of light
Morning light
Eclipsing the horizon
Giving long shadows
Brief life


My life a wonder
Marvels unfold
Beauty abounds
Such joy to be alive


Life so very precious
Each moment
A lifetime
Of wonder
To behold
The infinite Now

About the Author

Robert B. is sober alcoholic in Madison, WI participating in AA and AlAnon at Fitchburg Serenity Club. He has been sober since April 21, 2007. He also began writing and sharing poetry on Facebook during his first year sober as part of his recovery from alcohol dependency, acute anxiety and chronic depression. He has found that creativity expressed primarily through writing poetry and playing various stringed instruments helped him heal and thrive.


The image used for this post was created by an unknown artist from Hilton Head, South Carolina. Her work can be found at Rate My Drawings

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John S
2 years ago

I love reading these poems. I went years without paying attention to poetry, and now I read Robert’s poetry every week and I look forward to the experience. It’s like meditation or viewing a painting – you just sit with your feelings and soak it in.

Robert B
Robert B
2 years ago
Reply to  John S

Thanks John. They spring from my own meditations which tends to rely on various visualizations.

2 years ago

Nice!  Very nice.  Two articles about inventory–at least that’s the way I read Gelen and William list of characteristics.  I numbered them at 14–thank goodness it did not come out to twelve.  And no attribution to supernatural beings or higher powers that I noted–apparently I’m entitled to some measure of self congratulation while also noting that there is room for improvement in a few of the 14.  And I can see some improvement in the 14 for my friends at the secular meeting  to arrive in another couple of hours (though I can also see even more room for improvement… Read more »