My Garden of Friendship

I once wrote a poem for a group of my girlfriends.  I began the poem like this:  “I’ve been blessed in this life with a circle of friends, a garden of flowers which bloom ’til the end.”  I then proceeded to name each girl, compare her to a specific flower, and explain what I appreciated about her.  It was my way of showing how much I valued their friendship.  Now this poem was written back in 2000, so if you are one of my current girlfriends who is secretly fuming while reading this because you have never received such a poem- relax.  I’ll be happy to write one for you!  😉

I’ve always been a person who relishes friendship.  I love my friends and value their placement, importance, and input in my life.  I have realized that in order to be a good friend you must come to understand a few basic principles about friendship.  If it isn’t too sappy- pun intended- I’ll tell you what I’ve learned while continuing with our garden theme.

I’ve learned that as we grow into adulthood some of these friendships grow with us.  They move and twist and turn like a vine weaving itself in and out of our life journey.  Some parts flourish and blossom, while other parts may slowly wither away and eventually die.  Just as all beautiful flowers do, friendships require cultivation.  They can not be neglected and expected to thrive.  You must feed and nourish that relationship in order to see true growth.

In the same vein, I’ve come to realize (sometimes sadly) that our relationships with people can be seasonal.  I very firmly believe that there are some who God will bring into your life during a specific time and then let them softly float out of your world just as a visiting butterfly.  In some instances that butterfly may reappear sometime down the path or it may just fade into a sweet, loving memory.  I used to feel hurt or rejection, especially in my youth, when these times would occur; but now in adulthood I can see the necessity of them and the purpose those beautiful butterflies served in my life.  Hopefully, I was fulfilling a purpose in their lives at that time as well.

I have always taken great pride in the fact that my garden contains a variety of species.  I have friends of all ages, races, income brackets, and personalities.  I like to think of myself as an equal opportunity friend.  I do not discriminate.  When I set up this blog I included a link through my Facebook page so that my friends would have easier access to it.  Apparently Facebook will take your cumulative list of people following your blog and tell you from which “network” most of your followers are concentrated.  I found myself quietly chuckling when I read what Facebook informed me about my “followers” (friends).  “Followers are distributed among many areas.  No clear concentration in one network.”  Well, no kidding!  I could have told you that!  My garden is very colorful and fragrant.  I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I am so blessed for the beautiful friendships God has allowed me in this life.  If you, friend, have spent time in my garden I thank you.  From those flowers still in bloom to the sweet butterflies who have already drifted away, thank you sincerely for being a part of my bouquet.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kelli
    Jan 23, 2010 @ 21:25:02

    You are so richly talented and blessed….from your two children that I watched brave the cold to take a ‘dip in the hot tub’….to the remainder of your beautiful flowers you always seem to have surrounding you…..I hope 2010 will hold alot of new blossoms and fragrances for you!! Keep writing,my friend!

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  2. mandaclair
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 00:10:31

    Kelli, thanks so much. They had a blast in your hot tub. You are a sweet friend. I’m so lucky to have new additions in my garden like you!

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  3. Lora
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 15:06:59

    Great post, Amanda! I have just discovered your blog (via FB:) and am enjoying it a lot!

    I, too, have discovered what you say about *seasonal* friendships. I’m not one to let a friend go easily, but I have come to realize that it’s sometimes necessary. And bittersweet. I’m so thankful for all of my friends: they are from many places, many seasons of my life, all walks of life and greatly varied and that’s what helps make me a better person and friend, I think.

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  4. mandaclair
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 16:54:56

    Lora, thank you so much. I’ve been reading your blog as well and think I could take some pointers from yours. Your blog is beautiful! I love how you have tips- everything from cooking to decorating! What a wonderful resource!

    I think our friendships are such a blessing. Even the short-lived ones. God knows what He’s doing even when we may not be able to see the “big picture”.

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  5. Pat Lenzini
    Jul 09, 2010 @ 09:44:41

    Amanda, This blessed me so much and explained what I have felt in my life with all my different friendships. Thank-you for helping me understand my heart.

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