The secret garden…

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Well...here we go. First blog, only 51 or so more to go this year! I have spent the better part of the last week mulling the idea of what to even talk about. Recovery, of course. Tallgrass, of course. But this is the very first one. Everything I thought about didn’t seem like something that would have the depth and weight needed to give a “wow” factor…to keep people coming back every week to want to know more. So when I was driving around in the Kaboda, dumping the summer flower pots, with alumnus, Sarah, and we stumbled upon a secret rock garden someone had created, the blog wasn’t the first thing I thought of. My first thought was…”how cool is this?” All the small rocks lined up in a semi-circle on the big rock. I didn’t even know it exsisted here…there is a life lesson coming up, Joan, PAY ATTENTION! This was is what I thought. We climbed out of the cab and took a closer look. What we had missed from the Kaboda’s seat were two eggs. We had no idea why or who had put them there. So, we stood there for a moment, not saying anything. It seemed kind of surreal. Someone had created an offering to their God on our little campus. Which I shouldn’t be, although at that moment I was, surprised. We are a 12 step spiritual recovery campus, after all. I hear all the time (and have said many times, myself) that there is something special about our little place. Alumni come back, as I did, when life “out there” gets heavy. This place, this campus and it’s people…these are what help us out. Lifts our spirits, provides us with direction. We seek out an honest answer to an honest question. We have, after all, gotten sober here. We were taught what the tools are to stay that way. We prayed and learned to meditate. Work hard on ours steps here. Some of us found a relationship with our Higher Power here, one we thought we had lost along the way. So in a way, we alumni, are like those small stones lines up in a semi-circle, all physically unique…but the same. Addicts and alcoholics seeking out another path. I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I was standing in front of someone’s moment. Maybe the moment when willingness to try it someone else’s way…just clicked. Sarah and I took a picture and left. I know today that there is something bigger than myself. This is a blessing, for that hasn’t always been the case. I know today that the God of my understanding has had a plan for me all along…sometimes I lose track of that. I tend to forget who is in charge, that isn’t me. Today I am on the other side of my active alcoholism. Today, i can appreciate what it took for someone in their first 30 days without a drink to seek out a quiet spot on our little campus for a moment of prayer. I can appreciate it, because I remember when that person was me.

Keep on keepin’ on…Alumnus 113, Joan S.

3 Responses

  1. Misar, Matthew J

    Joan you nailed it. The fact that you had a chance in a way to share in someones experience is a life changing moment. I am looking forward to reading this every week and getting to know the behind the scenes.

  2. Carrie H

    Joan…..that is sooooooo cool. it def has the WOW factor. i had seen the pics you guys posted of the rock garden, but i thought it was just something you & Sara put together when you were cruisin campus in the kaboda. i had goosebumps while reading your post. there is something magical about Tallgrass’ campus. i knew that the moment i pulled up to “visit”, cuz i assure you, that was all i intended to do….i had no intention of going to treatment AGAIN! i knew i was missing the spiritual portion of the program, and since the daily reprieve from alcoholism is CONTINGENT upon that factor, i knew i was screwed. and i KNEW i wouldn’t find that in treatment, for i had been there and done that 3 times before. how wrong was i. for whatever reason, that simple, beautiful piece of property houses a spirit beyond human explanation. for this little mind anyway. and i don’t need to understand. the open door policy of Tallgrass sets it apart and that feature struck me from the start. blessed. i am so blessed. thank you God for leading me there. and letting me return anytime i want to. the fact that i get to work there? beyond my wildest dreams. my memory is broke, and i need a constant reminder of the reality of addiction. it is a horror that i believe gives us Hell on earth. and at the same time, i get to witness daily miracles. i get to see the light and life awaken in the eyes of our guests. i get to see the humor, love and compassion of my coworkers. did i mention humor?? and the ability to cope with anything life gives us, in sobriety. yep. beyond my wildest dreams. amazed before we are halfway thru. wow. it might even get better. carrie h

  3. Mary Beth P

    A Higher Power is definitly at work at Tallgrass in a most synergistic way. Three or so years ago when I was first privledged to mentor there I got the biggest spiritual ‘shot in the arm’ I’d received since I finally surrendered some 27 years ago…by the grace of God. The staff and residents there are family in a very real sense. The little stone garden sent a chill down my spine. I’ve learned that I usually experience this sensation when God is trying to tell me something important. He did. The fields of Tallgrass are sacred in that the Higher Power uses it to touch the hearts of many people both in and out of the program of recovery; those searching for they don’t know what; family members of those afflicted and friends of all sorts.

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