Building walls and tearing them down…
We stood back and saw that our creation had drastically altered the landscape and the whole environment we live in, we had buried our paths deep under water and restricted the natural flow to a trickle, justified by the work it took to build and the energy we harnessed by the back-pressure.
But the pressure became too great, it was dangerous, and the patchwork was becoming more laborious than the value of its product. People inhabited below the dam were on edge and were sure to lose everything if the dam suddenly failed without warning. No retaining wall or levy was going to hold the catastrophic flood from destroying everything. They started seeking safer ground.
Fly away from this scene for a moment, through the clouds, well above all horizons, back through time many years. Before any thought of laying the first brick, nothing but nature created the flow of water into this valley, creating a stream feeding life from fish to animals and plants. Ponds and eddies, rapids and falls, millions of years, filling and draining with the seasons.
But we could fix it so it better served our needs! We started by trapping a few fish, then a little reserve, seeing how this worked was simple. Keep building! And so we did. Brick by brick, adding steel and concrete, we built it for years! Gradual but consistent and everyone seemed to enjoy the lake. Below the dam water was controlled and our friends settled in close to the stream. A whole modern civilization developed. We owned and controlled it, what power we had! …What a shame we couldn’t maintain it.
Destruction was inevitable. Or else we would just have to abandon it and let it slowly decay and fall to pieces on its own. Eventually the pressure and friction would take care of most of it.
This is the act of recovery. Of complete renunciation and overhaul of what we had created and destroyed. The process isn’t pretty but to restore nature and put things back to the way they were intended will take an initial extremely drastic measure followed by a period of regrowth and it goes something like this;
You’ve got to blow that fucker up! I mean total annihilation. Make sand out of it fine enough to wash away with the flood. Rip out any sign of foundation, access roads, and power lines, all of it. Let that entire lake rip down the valley and strip away everything in its path. It will get where it’s going and it won’t take long to seek its own level again. The natural flow will return relatively soon in contrast to the time and effort required by the landscape. Both destroyed and newly uncovered. Faith, patience and perseverance are what it takes to suffer through the rebirth process on nature’s schedule. With all the effort we can muster to rebuild what we can, only time will reveal growth, reconnection and restoration.
OK, a little dramatic perhaps, but what inspires me to drive this home with a sledge hammer is experience with those who are unprepared for the flood and the scene of destruction that will be so clearly revealed in early sobriety. This can literally be a life or death situation. Awareness, willingness to seek help and support – or provide it is not only my recommendation but may just be vital is surviving the process. Being gentle and patient with ourselves are virtues long forgotten and the excitement of waking up sober, realizing YOU’RE GOING TO LIVE!! Is only going to carry us so far. The AA old-timers call this the “pink cloud”, whatever. Enjoy it. Just because it’s impermanent doesn’t mean it won’t change or attitudes and reactions to things to come. I’m just saying that the clarity that one receives may reveal a lot more than expected.
The thousand mile journey begins with a single step.