The other day, as previously mentioned, I was clearing out flowerbeds.
One of my gardens has lots of river rocks that Scott toted home over several ambitious summer trips to the Teanaway River a year or two ago. Beneath one of those rocks I discovered, while scooping up handfuls of apple leaves, a crocus that had fully grown beneath the stone.
The poor thing was limp, lemon-yellow and obviously sun-starved, but it was alive. I moved the rock and let it catch some rays, and within a day or two it was standing tall just like all its other crocus brothers and sisters.
Lately I've been running my mind over a way to articulate how sobriety feels to me now, and that crocus has given me the language. It's like this. I had a life while I was drinking, a life that was sometimes limp and pale but that was still viable. But giving up drinking was like lifting the stone. Slowly I have straightened, filled up and grown. Only now am I able to flower.
I think that being sober has allowed me not only to grow, but to grow up. It has recently occurred to me that I'm starting to see things as a person would who is in the middle of her life (which I am): complex, varigated, multi-dimensional, beautiful. I don't have such a need anymore for false drama, for stirring up dust. Life is dramatic enough as is, when you can be still and enjoy it, when you're not trying to struggle against stone.