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I have a new plant.

I live in the city, downtown, with little dirt from my 3rd floor studio. Yet, the fire escape offers a small space for cans, and I have decided that plant life is important for me to see, even if I can not get to those spots I most wish to go right now.

You know, this lavander plant – for it is not a seedling, in fact, nothing less than a real plant – came to me in a good way, one of those unexpected blessings. I have wanted a lavander plant ever since I started my healing baths (more on this in another post) – believing fresh, live lavander a good addition to my growing collection of herbs chosen to boost the healing power of the baths I take most days.


'Lavander' 2010. Photo by Catherine Herrera


I use the warm water to ease the pain in my right arm and leg, especially after a week like last, where I was suddenly required to do more than I know my body really can just yet. Family was the call, and I could not not answer. Yet, as I soaked in the tub these last few days, I felt the old sadness creep in, it comes on the waves of pain that holds on to me tightly, so strongly, sometimes, I grow scared.

This lavander plant came to me in an interesting way.

I stood that morning before two seemingly equal looking lavander plants in the store. Since I believe there is a spirit within a plant, that can connect to my own spirit, I playfully experimented in making my choice.

I took the same approach in choosing which check-out line, only, several minutes standing, I realized my stuffed basket of a month’s provisions was much more than the 10 items the line I chose allowed. Humm, ok, choose again.

I had sensed my choice would make a difference, and saw the mistake of line as a move to push me where I needed to go, rather than an error.

As I took the plant out of the cart, and handed it to the cashier, she smiled and said she had just seen that lavander plant this very same morning. She had stood before the plant too, trying to decide whether to toss it, for it appeared weak, and perhaps dying. She looked at the bagger and said ‘really, just this very morning,’ and turning back to me, ‘I am going to ring this up at a discount.’ I was so happy, always needing to watch pennies since my injury, when often, I didn’t have any pennies at all to count.

I felt blessed to receive this plant, and I felt certain, together, this plant and I will do healing work together, like an active joining for a healing.

'Lavander, as healing partner.' 2010. Photo by Catherine Herrera

I know, this intuition stuff is pretty interesting. I suppose others see these things as coincidence, others as synergy. Yet, what happens next tells me this stuff, well, I trust it.

As the cashier and I talk more, she asks what I have, and I say I’ve been told I have a rare nerve disease. She asks if it wouldn’t happen to be RSD. What happened next was like finding a long lost cousin, only hugs can capture the feeling of meeting someone who knows about and understands RSD.

This disease is so rare many doctors do not even know about it, and then, for some reason I have yet to understand, the rarity of the disease somehow allows for a freeing that gives rise to a chorus of people who don’t know about RSD, but feel pretty comfortable speaking about RSD, and making diagnosis’ for those who have RSD.

It is very healing to have someone understand the symptoms. I was grateful to talk to someone who had witnessed the symptoms, and who had seen the symptoms travel, something I was told over and over doesn’t happen, despite so many first person accounts, and journals reporting otherwise.

She also explained more about the complexity of the brain’s reaction with RSD. She warned me to let the guy take my bags out to the car, and I listened to her, only to lift two bags when I got home, and before my neighbor offered to take up all the bags of groceries.

By the afternoon, a large lump had formed on my wrist, and the pain had spiked again.

Only, today, I can look out at the lavander plant and feel certain, I am not alone in this healing journey.

I hope you will know the same too, as hard as it is right now, if you are at pain level 10 and you have never experienced anything like the pain you are now, you don’t know what you did or how this happened, please know you are not alone.

I remember those months, nights after nights, of fear from such pain levels, and now, I too can become scared. Yet, by talking about our experiences, sharing our lessons and techniques for living a better life – regardless of what ‘illness’ you have been assigned – there are ways of living life still.

Hang on tight for today, take it just one day or hour at a time.

That wonderfully healing conversation with the cashier goes into the roots of this plant, and into the healing waters of my bath. May these words in this post go to the root of your pain, and bring a rushing river of relief.


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