“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 1:1
My mother gave me the example each spring of this time of change by embarking on ‘spring cleaning’. After the long Ontario winter with all the windows sealed and doors barely cracked, the house was opened again to the spring breezes. Wall were washed, curtains and drapes laundered, floor received a deep scrubbing, carpets were cleaned and usually one room got new a wallpaper treatment. My father got out the tractor, cultivator and drill to prepare and sow the fields. And the cows literally jumped for joy after being let out onto a field after being cooped up in the barn for the cold winter months.
I have always loved the springtime. It’s a time of new birth, growth. Living close to the equator, there’s really only the dry and the rainy seasons. And right now we are transitioning into the rainy season. For me it is just like spring. When the rains return after months of none it is as magical as spring. There are new sprouts on trees, a greening of the fields and the earth soaks in life-giving moisture to sprout the dried seeds of the jungle. Rebirth and new life abound. It’s a time of changes and a time for change.
As I work through my recovery program, now is a good time for doing a thorough recap of my program and where I’m at in it. I may not do a Step Four inventory as meticulously as I did the first one, but once a year it’s not a bad idea to take the time to step back and see how I am living my life in recovery. Am I satisfied with certain aspects of my life? Are there areas where I need to do more work? What’s my relationship like with my Higher Power and with others? Where do I need to trim, plant and grow in my life of recovery? Is it time to do a review of all the steps with my sponsor?
Recovery isn’t something I get once and then I’ve got it. I have to tend to it and foster it to keep it alive and growing. A stagnant recovery is like a stagnant pond: eventually it won’t be as fresh and if left alone too long, things will start to smell. Fresh running water is the solution. And for me a renewed look at the state of my recovery is in order. I’m fortunate that the change of seasons, my birthday and my recovery anniversary all fall within this month. Each of these remind me that time moves on and I must flow along with it.
Now is the season to do the spring cleaning. Now is the time to prepare and sow. I cannot take my recovery for granted; it doesn’t work that way. It must be constantly renewed, tended and nurtured if I am to reap its promises. My recommitment keeps it fresh and keeps my spirit vigorous. I am grateful.