by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Grapevine : January 2011
34 January 2011 the natural world that sustained me physically, emotionally and spiritually even at the bottom when I felt alienated from every- thing. My link to the natu- ral world was my Higher Power hard at work while practicing anonymity. Now, recovering from alcoholism, I've once again become an active volunteer for the agency that maintains my state's nature preserves. I ven- ture out from time to time with a crew of biologists, botanists, herpetologists, entomologists and all kinds of other "ologists" to restore and maintain the rare and endangered species of plants, animals and their ecosystems. ese good folks have taught me much about the intricate relationships these plants and animals have with one another as well as their unique habitats. Not long ago I began reading about AA's Tradi- tions and was struck by the similarities Tradition One has with the unity of the natural world I've learned about: how the individual parts make up the whole and the whole in turn makes life possible to continue on and pass on its endowments to the individuals yet to come. is perpetual dynamic seems to be at work in both the physical and spiritual worlds. Each unique individual plays an important role in the community, but on the flipside, each is only a little piece of the greater puzzle (which I still find puzzling but have come to believe in). And so, at least to my reckoning, it seems that the dynamic process that unifies and perpetuates the unique habitats I help preserve is the same process at work in Alco- holics Anonymous: unity, service and recovery, each individual making a distinctive contribution to the whole. is ecological paradox is beautifully expressed in the chapter about Tradi- tion One in the "Twelve and Twelve": " ose who look closely soon have the key to this strange paradox. e AA member has to conform to the principles of recovery. His life actually depends upon obedience to spiritual principles. If he deviates too far, the penalty is sure and swi ; he sickens and dies. ... Realization dawns that he is but a small part of the greater whole." It appears to me that there is definitely something at work, something that o ers individuals lavish liberty to be themselves (even to destruction) yet acts like a glue that bonds us together as a community or fellowship. e "Twelve and Twelve" defines this glue as "an irresistible strength of purpose and action." For each animal and plant, each alcoholic, there is a common bond: For each animal and plant, each alcoholic, there is a common bond: to stay alive, which for an alcoholic like me translates into staying sober with the help of AA.