Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

For the Birds

Today I had a chance to reflect upon our wonderful world.

It started when I was feeding birds this morning by the swimming pool. At about daylight I scatter bread or cereal around the edge of the pool. And soon there are as many as 100 birds of varying colors – sometimes even ducks.

The braver ones stand and eat, though looking around nervously. Others come down for a few crumbs then flit to a nearby tree or wall to eat in safety. But this morning I noticed something I hadn't seen until a few days ago. And when I first saw it I thought my vision was getting worse.

Then I realized I really did see a dark-colored bird picking up bread and carrying it to another bird of about the same size and color, placing the morsel in its wide-open beak. Then I noticed there were three birds being fed by this one bird. Each time it brought bread it would feed it a different one. Before I figured out that these were probably young birds still learning how to forage, I had the romantic idea that perhaps bringing food was a courting ritual.

Now I knew birds feed their young in the nest. But I didn't know they do it after they can fly. And at that point I appreciated how our perfect universe provides for all creatures, even lowly birds.

While it doesn't make sense to anthropomorphize these creatures, it's fun to compare. Even though they are likely programmed by instinct, I know of no addicts in the bird kingdom. No depression medication or psychotropic drugs. No sponsors. No resentments.

They get into disagreements, make up and move on with their lives. It’d be nice if we all could do that.