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   I wondered what it would be like waking up at home again, my precious and safe place, my retreat, after spending four weeks Down Under.  Well, I’m home.  And I awoke with dizziness and no voice.  Oh, dear.

   My husband, Graeme, got a cold the last few days of our holiday.  He became quite miserable, sniffly, snarly.  Not too pleasant to be around yet I valued his sniveliness and snarliness with gratitude.  Gratitude that we are together as my life without him would contain a great void.

   I’ve been wanting to make this trip for years as it has been 8 since our last trip when Aud, Graeme’s Mum, passed.  We used to go every year to visit.  Perhaps when Jordan and Jayde came to visit last year from Victoria did their accents and the memories did the yearning for home start to gnarl away in his gut.

   “We can’t afford it.  I can’t get that much time off from work.  I don’t like crowds of people and traveling means crowds of people.”

   But that gnarliness twisting in his gut and my repeatedly mentioning that we are no spring chickens nor are your relatives Down Under who are now in their 80’s and 90’s.  Let’s just go visit them while we can as they’re unable to make the trip to see us.

   So Graeme saved and saved until he finally succumbed to the planning of this trip.  But creepy how his mind works.  The Last Waltz.  The end of our rope.  Crossed off the bucket list.  Sheez, Graeme.  Really?  This isn’t a death warrant.  This is just the beginning of many more trips and memories to make!

   Anyway, I am home now.  Writing like I do at home most mornings.  In the back patio.  Enjoying the warmth of Hawai’i.  Listening to the birds.  Looking at the ocean.

   I was excited for this trip.  For Graeme I believe visiting not only his roots of the land but also his family and friends would bring excitement and joy.  And practicing his new-found love of photography would also stir something up in him.  I believe it did.

   But for me I was excited to to continue on my journey of aligning my creativity and spirituality.  I had hoped to do a lot of writing and reading and videos and sketching of new designs.  Well, that really didn’t play out.  Everyday was filled with new adventures, new places, new people.  I found it difficult to write, to make a video, to sketch or even read.  I would be missing what my Higher Power brought me Down Under for…that which was right at the tip of my nose.

    But the memories I shall always hold dear and can now use for my alignment of who I am, my purpose, my destiny.

   Everyday I would thank my Higher Power for each day, each day of sobriety, sanity and serenity.  That would always put me in touch with the moment at hand and knowing that everything was perfect.  I got grateful.  I got humble.  I was relieved to know that I am not in control and that I could live from my heart and not my ego-centered brain.  Yes, everything was perfect.

   Before getting sober in 1998 I lived strictly from my brain and intellect.  It did not serve me.  It didn’t get me sober when I couldn’t go a day without drinking myself into oblivion.  I even stayed sober for over 13 years by giving my life in sobriety a strong foundation of AA meetings, sponsors and sponsorship, fellowship and service.  But one day at a time I let the gifts of sobriety take away this new-found way of living.  I once again got back into my head and ceased attending meetings and giving away what was so freely given me.

   That’s really when I surrendered to the disease of alcoholism.  When I relapsed.  When my brain yelled out, “It’s about time!  More!  More!  More!”  I realized then that I truly needed to surrender to this disease, and to respect it as I respect and never turn my back on the ocean.

   What a gift to not live in the negative! to not hide and lie and cheat.  To use all my energy in positive ways.  To be excited to what my Higher Power has in store for me each day.  Yep, what I took for granted.

   So I take this trip to New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia with humility and gratitude.  I know in my gut that each moment is perfect for me to learn and grow and share.  I sponge it all in!

   Today I write with the still lingering question of what I am going to do with my life.  I shall continue to create art.  I shall continue to write.  But then the questions arise as to where and how.  The answers did not come to me on this trip as I had hoped.  Or maybe it did and “When the student is ready, the Master appears.”

   All I know is that my life in recovery is perfect today.  I shall continue to share my experience, strength and hope with all who enter my bubble.  I shall do what I can to make this world a better place to live and to better our planet.  That is my purpose…and for thatI am thankful and I am humbled.

   Thank you for allowing me to give back what was so freely given me.  With warmest aloha,  Dee Harris