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Nearly one week ago, I stood in the middle of Pikes Place Market along Seattle’s shoreline.  It is famous for flying fish–thrown and caught and thrown and caught by fish mongers turned showmen.

This is what I’d come to see.

We pushed through the crowds, down the narrow aisle way from one end of the market to the other.  And when we arrived at the fish monger’s counter, we joined in among the crowd already gathered, eager and somewhat restless to see the next fish fly.

Do you want to see us throw some fish?, one man bellowed.


Quickly, he grabbed a whole fish from the ice in front of him, and deftly tossed its limp, silvery body up and over to his nearby colleague.  The man who caught it brushed its tail against the cheek of a passerby before tossing it back.  They exchanged it once more, and then the monger turned to the crowd again.

Do you want to see us throw another fish?, he asked.


Then buy one!

It was a show indeed.  And not a very good one.

But oh, the fresh fruits and vegetables.  And the rows upon rows of fresh flowers were breathtaking.

Back in my small town, I marvel at the show brought forth by Spring.  Every day, something new is in bloom.  Every day, there is another sign of life brought back to the landscape after its long winter’s nap.

I crave color.  I crave the sun.  I crave spring dresses and needing sunglasses.

I crave life.

As I progress through my recovery, I find I’m better at recognizing things that bring me life.  Fruits and vegetables in every color known, to begin with.  Fresh flowers just cut from the field.  Hugs.  Words of love and appreciation.  Beauty.  And moments lived with intention.

There is nothing life-giving about making someone feel small.  Or uncomfortable.  Or insecure.  There is nothing life-giving about making someone feel a burden.  Or unimportant.

And I’m starting to be repulsed by these things.  And, more importantly, seek those that bring me joy.

It’s not unlike a sunflower whose head turns to track the sun.

And how I crave the sun right now–the guidance of my higher power, the love of my CoDA family, the confidence growing within me, the voice I’m finding to advocate for my needs, making intentional choices to move slowly toward the best version of me.

To fill my life with the beauty I’ve denied it.  And to be the beauty I’ve suppressed.

To receive and accept love.  To be and give love.

If I keep tracking like this, maybe I’ll be breathtaking, colorful show.

Then again, maybe I am already.







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