Experiencing LIFE

I have been stalking plants in my neighborhood. Daily stalking, mainly through walks, though sometimes I drive, to check out the gardens of the people living in my neighborhood. I am particularly interested in a few hydrangeas living close by. Those sexy beasts. My husband thinks I have gone slightly mad, and I do not completely disagree. He spends his days and nights dreaming of Vespa scooters, so we are a perfect pair, really. A good match with our slightly obsessive temperaments in regards to hobbies. I feel open enough with him to share my obsessions, in part due to the fact that he’s been there during my struggle with booze. So, I am an ex-boozer and plant enthusiast (stalker). Nice to meet you.

Life seems different to me now. When I take my daily walk to visit my plant friends, listening to the sweet and humorous sounds of my son’s new words bubbling up from the stroller in front of me, I notice the vast quantities of life around me. There is life everywhere and it all seems so new to me now. Where was all of this life before? How did I miss it? We live in a wild place, in a small town near a large forest, and we are surrounded by wild things. I stop and look up at the trees almost every day. “Wow. That is an amazing tree,” I say to myself, “How did I never notice how tall? How green? How old? Those leaves. Wow.”

I did notice, of course, in my own way. The trees were there, the people were there, the animals were there, and the life was there. It’s just that I was stuck inside of my sad drinking life- which is what it is to me now. I accept it, surrender to it, and don’t condemn myself for it, but it was sad to be so damn sad all the time. I spent the majority of my precious time feeling sorry for myself, while numbing the life that was all around me, and inside me, and a part of me and everything else. I was keeping myself in the dark instead of allowing myself to wake up and see the light. But I did see the light sometimes. I noticed the beauty of the world around me at times. Enough to eventually wake up, realize there is more out there, and quit drinking.

Life is breathtakingly beautiful at times. Crushing in the sweetest way possible. And sometimes crushing in a not-so-sweet way. It isn’t always easy to feel this much more of every feeling than I used to. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.

7 thoughts on “Experiencing LIFE

  1. This post just brought back a memory for me – my middle one was just over a year old and we were coming into her second autumn. I had this huge tandem pushchair I took her and her big brother in everywhere. It was bright red and weighed a ton and I loved it. Totally kept me sane. Almost totally. It was a beautiful autumn, clear crisp sun-shiny days with amazing colours, and I remember looking around at the trees and thinking, I don’t remember autumn at all last year. I don’t know if it was sheer exhaustion and shock of having a new baby and a toddler to cope with, or if I had been a little depressed the previous year, but that year, it was like I was seeing it all in technicolour for the first time, blinking with the intensity of it.
    Also – I love the idea of stalking plants. I have been stalking baby birds in my local park recently, and it has been so interesting watching their progress, except for the fact that cygnets have dropped in number from 6 to 5 to 3. But they’re bigger now, and I have high hopes for the remaining 3! xxx

  2. Very true experience for me as well. Where WAS all this stuff when I was drinking? Everything was in muted tones and drab. Nothing changed…except my outlook. So when I started to see things in their natural light, a technicolour kind of way, it blew me away. I was never a nature dude, but all of a sudden, hanging out in a park or walking a trail seemed right. Needed. Such is life…we have our eyes more open than naught now and it’s fantastic.

    Thank you for sharing this 🙂 (I think of you and your wee one experiencing these firsts together:) )

  3. YES!!! I totally feel you on this! Where were all the colors and the outlines of every leaf against the azure sky? Why was I walking looking at the ground instead of taking in all of the beautiful details? I completely relate. Drinking goggles don’t really come off until you quit. I found mine had night vision, but made everything drab during the day. What a pleasure to stalk plants…I have a big crush on my neighbor’s peonies! ~OTS

  4. It’s like alcohol pulls a sort of veil over your eyes. There is also a lot of rushing around and this distorts the imagery around you.

    Once you quit, things slow down, you have more time on your hands, you start paying attention and suddenly you see.

    In the movie The Matrix, Neo says to Morpheus, “Why do my eyes hurt,” and Morpheus replies, “You have never used them before.”

    That conversation always reminds me of alcohol.


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