From the January 2011 magazine.

January 2011: Only Natural

The unity in Tradition One is reflected in the environment

For each animal and plant, for each alcoholic, there is a common bond: to stay alive.

I was given the gift of sobriety a little over two years ago. I’m finding the love I once had for nature slowly returning. My passion for hiking, paddling, natural history, and keeping a nature journal all faded away. I lost this passion during the last few years of my daily drinking and isolation, a sure sign of chronic alcoholism. It was my abiding love of the natural world that sustained me physically, emotionally and spiritually even at the bottom when I felt alienated from everything. My link to the natural world was my Higher Power hard at work while practicing anonymity.

Now, recovering from alcoholism, I’ve once again become an active volunteer for the agency that maintains my state’s nature preserves. I venture out from time to time with a crew of biologists, botanists, herpetologists, entomologists and all kinds of other “ologists” to restore and maintain the rare and endangered species of plants, animals and their ecosystems. These good folks have taught me much about the intricate relationships these plants and animals have with one another as well as their unique habitats.

-- Ed C.

Bowling Green, Kentucky

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