re·ju·ve·nate: restore (a river or stream) to a condition characteristic of a younger landscape.
“Your grandfather used to say you can’t fix a broken wagon wheel, but you can use the parts to make a new one.” — John Dutton (Yellowstone)
Have you ever been to Yellowstone? The park that is.
It is by no means a pristine landscape. The rivers there are backed up and diverted from their originally intended paths by fallen trees and beaver dams and did you know the prismatic colors of the hot sulphur springs are caused by bacteria? Then, there are all of us faulty humans that pass through it by the thousands every year, leaving behind inevitable remnants of our presence.
Yellowstone is a tainted landscape.
Still, the rivers and hot springs keep flowing, their imperfections only serving to make them even more incredible and, somehow, relatable to us faulty humans. This beautiful place struggles every day to survive and to remain, at its core, itself. Just like us.
Happy New Year and Welcome to Dryuary 2022!
Some of us are doing Dryuary for the first time and some of us are doing it for the umpteenth time. Some of us are doing it for health reasons, some of us are doing it for spiritual/mental reasons and some of us are doing it for both. Some of us are planning a Dryuary that is completely free from alcohol and some of us are planning a Dryuary that is mostly free from alcohol.
The one common ground we stand on this month is our intention to rejuvenate our personal landscape to a younger landscape . A robust and natural landscape. A clear and hopeful landscape.
Most of us signed up for Dryuary with the primary intention of remaining alcohol-free this month and that, alone, would be a major accomplisment. Except…Dryuary has the potential to be so much more. If instead, remaining alcohol-free becomes the catalyst-not the goal of Dryuary-remaining alcohol-free can and will precipitate rejuvenation as our end result.
This morning many of us may feel that rejuvenation is a long shot and we may even be reconsidering this whole Dryuary thing we signed up for. Our landscape is littered with the flotsam and jetsam of the overindulgence of the past few months. We find ourselves stumbling over regrets we’ve collected in the last year. Our landscape seems contaminated beyond redemption.
But, it isn’t.
Let’s take a few minutes to focus, not on our present landscape and not on the catalyst of remaining alcohol-free this month, but on that rejuvenated landscape of ours. How would it look different than it does today? Could it be healthier? Thriving, even? Could it be more peaceful? How do we want to feel when we do a 360 turn to survey all that is ours? To what lengths will we be willing to go to preserve it, to hold on to it? What do we want our landscape to look like at the end of the month? And, since Dryuary is a good beginning, how do we envision that continued rejuvenation throughout the seasons of 2022?
Today is our starting point. We are going to use our envisioned landscapes to encourage ourselves this month. Our landscape doesn’t have to be pristine, as a matter of fact, it won’t be. None of us are unaltered or unscarred by life. However, we can return to a younger version of ourselves where our positive energy and creative interests are no longer backed up or diverted by drinking.
This is your Yellowstone.
Our wish for you is that the landscape of Dryuary 2022 contains meadows of forgotten but familiar joys, hidden glades of restorative calm and mountains of compassionate support.
Share the vision of your rejuvenated landscape with us here in the comments below, the Dryuary 2022 Facebook group or the Dryuary Forum.
P.S. Some of you might have hesitated about joining Dryuary 2022 because you have a special event this month which you would like to celebrate with a toast or a fine glass of wine. Other Dry Month campaigns, such as Dry July in Australia, offer certificates for a donation that permit the participant to take a day off from their alcohol-free obligation. We do not offer certificates but if making a donation to Moderation Management, the host of Dryuary or a charity of your choice will free you from any negative feelings you might have for not remaining 100% alcohol-free, that’s perfectly fine with us. It is much more important to us that you continue rejuvenating your landscape rather than quit because you celebrated an occasion with a glass of your favorite alcoholic beverage.