The Fellowship of Life
"God speaks to me in as many ways as I care to listen."
I was about two years sober when I first became aware of him speaking
to me. I was homeless and the mother of a friend gave me a room in her
home. In the garden of the house opposite there was a big tree in full
My mind was very troubled at that time because the wreckage of the
past was still going through the process of being sorted out. I woke at
approximately 5am each day. There was a blackbird in the tree. His song
used to drive me crazy so early each morning and because of it I could
not get back to sleep. I often felt like screaming at him but did not
want to give the lady of the house, who was already very dubious about
my sanity, any more food for thought - or I was without a bed.
I hated that blackbird and as the dawn rose earlier, so did he each
morning. I pulled the heavy curtains and covered my head with the bed
clothes and wished he would choke on his next chirp.
Then one morning something happened. I listened to his song. It
seemed to say to me "you are alive and sober". From then each morning he
said the same thing to me. "You are alive and sober. You are alive and
sober", he chirped. I opened the window at night to hear him at dawn and
often I was awake before him, waiting for his song. He now heralded a
Eventually autumn came and the leaves fell from the tree. His song
rose later yet it was just the same. "You are alive and sober." This
time he added, "you are getting better." It was the same blackbird in
the same tree but my attitude had changed. A relationship was
established with him and I looked forward to seeing him and hearing him
Then one morning I awoke and was aware that he was not there. I
missed him. I could hear the silence of the early morning and consoled
myself by thinking that perhaps he had gone to sing for some other
alcoholic who needed him more than I. He had served me well.
As I looked back over the previous four months, I realised that he
had pulled me through when I needed him. I now realise that God spoke to
me at that time, through the blackbird. Each time I hear a blackbird
sing now, I recall that all I wanted at that time was a little peace of
mind and nothing else. Today I am sober and have peace of mind, thanks
to Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps of our Fellowship.
If ever my wants become more than what I have, I just remember the
song of the blackbird when I was two years sober saying, "You are alive
There is no greater gift for this alcoholic, and now that I am able
to listen, I realise how God can speak to me in many ways, just as He
did through my little feathered friend, when I needed to hear him most.
All I have to do is listen. But it takes time.
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