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Al-Anon Forum Magazine Featured Article

Landing On A Cloud
"We were... tossed around like a wet towel in a dryer."
On a recent flight from Mexico City to Los Angeles, it was revealed to me that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. We had reached our cruising altitude of 30,000 feet and the "fasten Seattle sign" dimmed. The sight of the rocky desert floor below, against the deep blue sky above, was all I needed to feel at one with nature.
Flight attendants were beginning to rustle their food and beverage carts up the aisle when we began to experience some turbulence. The sudden illumination of the Seattle sign, coupled with a request for the flight crew to return to their seats, captured our attention.
Without a warning, we were engulfed in a dark grey thunderhead and were being tossed around like a wet towel in a dryer. Why would the pilot choose to tackle these dark, turbulent thunderheads? Common sense says that the clear, blue sky turbulence is a safer bet than flying blind in a thunderhead. "If only he would climb just a few thousand feet we could al least see where we're going" - getting this message to him seemed impossible.
The feeling of helplessness was all over me as we entered one thunderhead after another. The possibility of meeting the desert floor, instead of a customs agent at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), caused me to take inventory of my life - past, present and future. Ahhhh, the future - my wife, who may be carrying our first baby! How would they get along without me? How would my family react to the six o'clock report on the downing of flight 614? My favorite seat at the Tuesday night Al-Anon meetings would be empty. That's when it came to me - turn this dilemma over to my Higher Power!
So, as the plane continued to bounce around, I gave my situation over to the will of God - "If it's Your will for me to be on the desert floor, so be it. On the other hand, if You'd rather have me waiting in a long customs line, that's okay too. It's in Your hands now..."
At about that moment, I could feel the powerful surge of the engines. The aircraft started to climb out of the darkness towards the sunlight. The cockpit door swung open, revealing the brightest patch of blue sky I had ever seen. The remainder of the flight was seamless. I never felt the wheels touch down at LAX. It's as if we landed on a cloud. Since then, I think of my life as a plane flight and I'm the pilot. When difficult situations arise, rather than reach for the controls, I pause, take a deep breath and relax. My serenity is knowing that my autopilot or Higher Power is guiding me through even the most turbulent weather.
Anonymous - California
Alcoholism is a family disease. Those of us who live with, or have have lived with, this disease as children or adults sometimes have problems which the Al-Anon program can help us to resolve. If you have answered yes to some of all of the above questions, Al-Anon may be of help to you. You can contact Al-Anon by checking your local telephone directory, or from the Resources page. Phone numbers and Contact Information for the Austin Area are listed on the Contact Page of this website.
These articles were reproduced with permission from 'The Forum', the monthly inspirational newsletter of Al-Anon. Al-Anon World Headquarters, Inc. is located in Virginia Beach, VA. See www.Al-Anon.org for more information.