At our Monday night meeting last night we had five newcomers, three of which took newcomer chips. One of the oldtimers who has 31 years remarked in his sharing that it was good to see the “scouts” coming in with those arrows stuck in their ass. His statement brought me back to the beginning of this year when I came back into the rooms of AA. That was the description they used for me, another scout crawling back in with arrows stuck in his backside. Of course it meant that I was coming back and reminding everyone that it’s still bad out there and getting worse, but I didn’t understand the arrows in the ass comment. A few months ago the gentleman who used the term on me gave an explanation. Mr. Jim said
“Remember back in the day, the old black and white western movies? The pioneers are heading out west and they’ve got that wagon train going, the trailblazers are out front guiding the way… then all of a sudden the wagon train leaders yells out to “circle the wagons” because an Indian attack is coming. So they circle up those wagons and fight off the attacks and after a while it’s peace and quiet, nothing’s happening. But the wagon train is not sure if it’s safe to move on so they pick some poor soul out of the group to go out and scout ahead… make sure the coast is clear, come back and report what you find. Sometimes the scout makes it back, most times they don’t but the ones that do make it back have the same story…the way is not clear, it’s still not safe out there, we’re going to have to find another way.”
Jim said I was that scout with those arrows sticking out of me and based on my appearance it must have been rough. He said I was lucky to make it back, that I reminded him it’s not safe to leave the circle. Stick with the group and we’ll find another way, a safer way. He’s right. The group has taken this scout in, removed the arrows, helped heal my wounds. They have shown me a new, safer way and told me to stick with the “wagon train”. And if one of those scouts comes in that I shall do the same for them. Amen to that.
Let’s have an arrow free day…