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There were five of them in the bowl when we started, a little mid-morning snack for my daughter.  Once she was out the door and off to school, I went into her room to retrieve the bowl.  One animal remained.  I think it was a llama.

One lonely llama left all alone.  As I walk to the kitchen, I’ve got three options. First, I could throw the cracker away, which would not only be wasteful, but also scary for the llama; to be dropped in among sticky popsicle wrappers and cold coffee grounds. Second, I could return it to the rolled-up bag inside the folded-up box somewhere behind the cabinet door, lower shelf.  Or third, I could eat it, but that’s not going to happen; I already felt bad for it.  Little lost llama, unwanted and abandoned.  Now the clean-freak giant was going to eat you?  Not if I had anything to say about it.

Turns out I did.  Far too much to say and far too much to think. It’s a cracker for Chrissake, a cookie, an inanimate confection that I’m concerning myself with here. Flour and sugar and water and a machine that cuts and bakes it into a recognizable shape. Its got no soul, no consciousness, no significance, yet I’ve got a myriad of decisions and fears and anxieties tied up in its outcome, its final destination, all bubbling up during a ten-second walk from bedroom to the kitchen.

Here’s the miracle.  Standing at the sink, I shake my head like a wet dog.  I knock loose most of the crazy cobwebs that comes with make-believe llama-hospice guilt.  An exhale follows as I simply toss an uneaten piece of food into the garbage and never look back.

Tangential to my alcoholism?  Not at all, and here’s the tie-in:  If I can get so off-road mentally regarding something as innocuous as an animal cracker, how can I possibly be expected to handle anything on my own?

Well, that’s the miracle:  Thanks to this program and the fellowship, I don’t have to.

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