I have just returned from the island of Kauai, celebrating a reunion of my family I had not seen in a while. What a homecoming. While there, I had the privilege of returning to a morning AA meeting I had attended twelve years prior in Lydgate Park, not five minutes from our condo.
Although it wasn’t the same people, it was the same welcoming I had those long years before when I was only three years sober.
Hui Ohana — The name of the meeting: Gathering of Family
There I was 2500 miles from my own home, and these bright faces were welcoming me home. Represented in this photo (below), drawn into the dirt in the center of of four picnic tables making a circle for our meeting, was this iconic message: WELCOME HOME
You can just make out the drawing in the center. A triangle, within a circle surrounded by a heart, with the words, “welcome home” drawn around the heart. Gathering that morning as the roosters crowed and the sun was rising at 7 am, a woman jumped up excitedly as we watch her draw this in the center of our gathered meeting of about twenty people. She had a stick that looked like it was the “official” stick (one probably for this specific purpose and that service position!) and she drew this message in the carefully-raked dirt.
I began to weep. Not in sadness. But for the joy, that I could go anywhere in the world and find a meeting and sit down and be welcomed home. All gathering for one purpose:
To stay sober, support each other and hear God’s voice comfort us on this path of sobriety through the words of each other. Family gathering. Hui Ohana.
So appropriately named.
What a blessing. I am grateful.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in”