Did Blueberries Really Help a Gal Out?

Are plants part of a sentient matrix?

Tantra Bensko
5 min readDec 16, 2019


What I’m going to describe is probably just a weird coincidence. But still. It has always made me wonder. Is everything mystically connected after all?

Nature girl goes home

I used to sporadically live alone, out in nature, purposefully, without shelter or much reliance on the system in place in our society. To me, it would have felt hypocritical to critique serious issues at the core of our culture and simultaneously benefit from it any more than necessary. I ate what I found in the wilderness - the little red astringent uva ursi berries that grew on low bushes and the blue juniper berries from bigger bushes; I drank water directly from mountain streams. I felt a palpable sense of reverence for those berries and trees, rocks, sunshine, dirt, bugs, snakes. . .

Living in a city without shelter was not as peaceful, and I only did that in DC for four months. In 1990, I lived on the sidewalk across from the White House. I was an activist, part of the Peace Park Vigil getting signatures for Prop One against nuclear testing. At the time this story begins, I’d been forced to either leave the vigil or die, so I visited my parents on their rural Alabama homestead.

To help out the family, I picked vegetables daily from the garden, and fruit and nuts from the trees, the vine berries and the blueberries from the substantial number of bushes, which took much more time than harvesting the rest of the produce. When they were in season, I treated the blueberries as my closest friends — my only local friends.

Nature girl wants to leave home

As I healed, I knew I needed to move on to a new situation, but I had no idea what it should be or where I would find it. During those years, when I could, I went to the Blueberry Gathering in Kentucky. That’s when the berries were at their peak.

I could have left home at that point to attend the gathering and then go where my travels took me, but I was truly involved in the friendship with our bushes. I telepathically thanked them with every single blueberry I picked, apologized to them, sent them love and tried to tune into whatever wisdom they could pass along to…



Tantra Bensko

Gold-medal-winning psychological suspense novelist, writing Instructor, manuscript editor living in Berkeley.