For those who are depressed

The Arnold Arboretum at Dust

The Arnold Arboretum at Dusk

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
~ T.S. Eliot

Come for a walk with me, my friend. I know you are tired. I know that sorrow has settled into your bones like the ache from an old war wound. Come with me anyway. Lean on my arm. It is only a few steps to the forest’s entrance, and a few more to a bench where we can rest. I know the colors have gone out of your life and you cannot rouse yourself to remember them. I know. In the twilight the colors of the world are muted, and it will not sting as much when you can only see grey.  We can turn back anytime. Your bed will be waiting for you. Just come out for a few minutes.

Come for a walk with me, dear one. I know that walking is hard, now, that your muscles ache and you feel a weariness that does not pass no matter how much you sleep. I know that talking feels impossible, and that you fear if you do speak you will be unable to stop, and will wear me out with your words, crying over and over of your pain and despair. It’s all right, my friend. You do not have to speak, and if you do there is space in my heart and in the woods for all your pain. There is space for you, my friend, believe me. There is a drought in the world that can only be quenched by your tears, the infinite tears inside you. Come and weep, or come and be silent. Just come.

Come for a walk with me, Beloved. I know you feel nothing but loneliness, and being with people makes you feel even more alone. I know you feel lost and left behind, abandoned by friends and by the God you once adored. I know you feel a betrayal so sharp and real that sometimes you cannot breathe. I know that when I call you God’s Beloved it rings hollow, that if I speak the words of scripture that you used to love they now taste like sand in your mouth. Come into the whispering darkness of the trees at twilight and listen to the scripture there. Come into the shadows of the oaks and lindens until the darkness outside matches the darkness in your soul. And then listen to how the dark speaks its own language, one you could not hear in the bright light of day. If you do not hear it tonight, that’s okay, too. I will walk you home, regardless. I will trust your soul regardless. Beloved, I will.

Come for a walk with me, little sister, little brother, little sibling. I have been here before and am older than you by a year or two. Let me hold your hand as you learn to walk in this new world. You have been walking for years in the daylight, but this is new territory, this westering world where the shadows trip you as surely as the stones. It is hard to walk, I know, but you can do it. We can do it together, little one. Underneath your despair I can see that spark of strength. Not everyone will realize how much it took you to step outside for these few minutes, but I know. Even if you collapse back in bed for the next twenty-three and a half hours, I know that the courage and strength it took to face the world for those few moments is almost unimaginable. I know you feel so weak, little brother, little sister, but you are strong in ways few people will ever know.

Come for a walk with me, dear reader. I know you have questions I cannot answer, and things in your life I cannot understand. But let’s go for a walk together tonight, away from the cacophony of the city, of the daylight, of the world wide web. Let’s step into the dusky woods together, the quiet dappled evening where the trolls and other monsters cannot follow. Let’s find one of the Ten Thousand Places, one of the hidden places where it’s okay to be sad and unsure, where it’s okay to ask our overwhelming questions and okay to let the answer be that we don’t know. I know you’re tired, and the day has already been far too long. You can rest soon, dear one, I promise. Only first, come, come for a walk.


Come for a walk on Facebook, too, if  you’d like to keep in touch.


19 comments on “For those who are depressed

  1. Hope Wiltfong says:

    Thank you. I needed to hear this exact thing today as I am trying to patiently walk beside someone who is severely depressed. Perfect timing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Susan says:

    Perfect for me for today. I am trying to give all of my love to someone who suffers from depression. Much love to you for your wisdom…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you. I felt reading this finally someone understood me and held my hand and walked beside me with compassion and lead me and I know it is ok and I depressed and alone in my pain and I have no one to lean on. Losing my daughter and being single and rearing 2 other children is wonderful and my life saver and forces me to be strong and together even though inside I am broken.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. Your gratitude is beautiful and wonderful, but your burdens must also be so heavy. I am thinking of you and, for what’s it’s worth, will keep you in my prayers.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jenn says:

    You describe depression spot on. Thank you. I needed to read that for encouragement and strength.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lana says:


    Liked by 1 person

  6. 365to60 says:

    How did you know I needed this today? Deep deep deep gratitude.


  7. Karen says:

    Exquisitely beautiful and helpful. I feel understood. I look forward to walking into the cooler spaces and drinking them in. Thank you.


  8. Mary Potter says:

    Absolutely beautiful! It would be so comforting on audio!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Cmazuroski says:

    Thank you for taking me out of myself as I read your words and felt myself taking steps beside an empathetic, understanding you in the beautiful, calming woods.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Joy Geaslen says:

    This is so beautiful! I find myself crying, though I am not sure why.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. lori691 says:

    Thank you. I just lost a friend who took his life. He was too embarrassed to let people who cared about him know of his struggles. I wish he, me and his friends could have read your words while he was alive and maybe he wouldn’t have felt so embarrassed.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. H. says:

    Your words are like a gentle hand that reaches out during a time when I have been reluctant to pull friends toward me for desperately needed support. Too exhausted to explain I don’t want platitudes or problem solving, simply space to be held quietly free of judgement. There are not many who can hold this kind of open heart. Stumbling upon this, your writing…I can hear the reading as I walk through my day. In Gratitude, –

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is nothing but glorious. Keep shining your light into the world. You are blessing many.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Mary Ann says:

    Thank you for your writing. It helps for me, and for others I try to walk with.

    Liked by 1 person

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