At 3:30 A.M., I smiled, recording this dream:

After a long absence, I’ve returned to the Lindell Club to attend a Women’s meeting of Alcohol Anonymous. Animation swells the room filled with mismatched tables and chairs. Sunshine streams through streaked windows. When my recovery buddies spot me, they run over and hug me.

The Lindell Club, housed in an 1890s brownstone, has been a privately maintained hub for recovering alcoholics in the Greater St. Louis area since 1950. A significant container for changing lives, it has served me well as far back as 1991, when I first found my way up the marble steps to the front stoop letting onto the massive black doors. That noon meeting launched my entrance into Alcoholic Anonymous and my life has never been the same.

The image of mismatched tables and chairs speaks of AA’s identification with the first beatitude of Jesus: Blessed are the poor of spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven, an identification that also extends to material things. Only the lowly can access Higher Power’s transforming grace for the willingness to change everything; with light hearts, we participate in His dream for us.

(I still remember the faded leatherette peeling from the chair in which I was sitting that first afternoon.)

And the image of my recovery buddies suggests vibrant healing of the Feminine spirit within my psyche. Multiple years of self-hatred and emotional dishonesty, juiced by sweet wines, had scarred my psyche. Desperate for relief, I was heartened as others shared their experiences working the 12 Steps. Immediately, I began the arduous task of self-scrutiny that led to meaningful relationships with Higher Power, others, and myself. Although presently homebound, isolation no longer blocks me from others.

This dream feels like Higher Power’s winking “Well done!” Yet, only my last breath will complete this graced work.