Friends in Low Places

Posted by Lissa Carter, LPCA

Sometimes loneliness is indestructible. Sometimes that deepest, darkest place your soul goes to feels entirely unspeakable, and you cannot find a way out to the people you love, and the people who love you cannot find a way in. Or perhaps, in those moments, there is no one you love and no one who loves you. Sometimes it feels that dark.


When the people feel too far away, sometimes the plant world can get through. The tree people are rooted and will not run away from your terror or despair. They will support you if you stretch your back against their trunks.


The black raspberry bushes will feed and feed and feed you and not ask for a thing. They will teach you, too, with their thorns—watch how they guard themselves even as they give. We can learn to do this too.

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The cattail is swaying in the wind and releasing the last of its spring pollen into the air. If you take a sack and shake the pollen into it, you’ll find a generous helping of golden powder filled with micronutrients and vitamins. The cattail offers this to everyone, not just to some.



And then there are the wildflowers---sending fresh sweetness into the air, lighting up a sense of hope and possibility with their brightness.


Do not be afraid to walk out into the world of the plants. Wear sunglasses if you are afraid of running into people. The plants do not care if you are completely broken open. They can witness you without bearing any judgment at all.  They can hear your weeping or your shouts of anger without intervening.

Bring your water bottle and offer a drink to the tree you lean against, the flowers you gather, the berry bushes that feed you. Feel this simple relationship start to weave you back into the world and the community of things. You are not alone. You are never alone. You are part of this world, and you belong.

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For the Children

by Gary Snyder

The rising hills, the slopes,
of statistics
lie before us.
the steep climb
of everything, going up,
up, as we all
go down.

In the next century
or the one beyond that,
they say,
are valleys, pastures,
we can meet there in peace
if we make it.

To climb these coming crests
one word to you, to
you and your children:

stay together
learn the flowers
go light

We are always available for a free consultation if you need someone to talk to. Email us at to set up a time to talk. If you are in crisis and a phone call feels too vulnerable, text Home to 741741 to text with wonderful, trained volunteers.

If you have any doubts at all about plant identification, don't consume any parts of a plant. Just sit with it and wonder about it, offer it water, and feel the oxygen it is creating for your lungs. Let it be there for you.