A Beginning in Springtime – AA Grapevine April 1964 by M.C. Reno, NV

Watch the new life and feel its awakening

EACH spring, as I watch the green shoots in the earth struggle towards the light, I am reminded of another spring and another struggle. As I watch the buds on the trees begin to open, as if they were awakening from a long sleep, I am reminded of another awakening, ten years ago, an awakening within me.

Often in our meetings I have heard it said: “I can accept most of this program, but I just can’t accept this God business.” Although these words are strange to me now, they were also my agnostic words when I first read our Twelve Steps.

Because I searched fruitlessly for a God which would show me how to control my drinking, I came into AA with no God. The only power I accepted and understood was the power in the bottle. I remember the many long, drunken nights I spent alone in my room, searching the works of great philosophers for a solution to my dilemma. I ended the search convinced there was no answer. With that conviction I came to AA.

I attended many meetings those first months and, although I could not accept what was sometimes called the spiritual side of the program, I did stay sober. I held fast to the words of those who said: “If you don’t understand or can’t accept the spiritual side of the program, forget it for now.” And so I forgot it–until one spring day.

That day I awoke to the song of a bright, fat robin. I yawned, stretched, bounced to the floor. After six cups of snapping-back coffee, I showered, dressed carefully, and left for work. It was a productive day. Later, with my work-day done, I was on my way to the AA club for a cup of that coffee that snarls at you.

It was a yellow-bright day and, as I walked down the street of our quiet small town, my heels hit the walk with resounding clacks. Each step had a positive sound, and it was a beautiful sound compared to that drunken shuff-a-long I had before. The five-O’clock evening was a mellow rose blend of day with twilight. I was happy and tired, and vulnerable to the magic of the time of day. An aroma of sweet wet earth filled my nostrils; I looked at the ground and saw a green shoot of new grass pushing its way through the sod. I stopped and considered its struggle. The odor from the new buds on the trees mixed with the sweet smell of the earth, and a soft breeze stirred the branches to make them whisper their song. I was enveloped in richness and the day was mine.

As I stood there I felt a new sense of awareness, and realized that the force which gave life and odor to spring was not man; therefore it must be a Power greater than I. The words of my AA friends came back: “Just find some Power greater than you.” I felt at peace, finally, and knew with humility that I had found that Power.

And so on this spring day, ten years later, it is with special gratitude that I watch the new life and feel its awakening. The message of that spring past was just a beginning. Today I know that the Power which awakens the earth is the Power which awakens my spirit, and now I call that Power, God.

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