Friendships are like flowers. I love flowers. They bring me joy; they make me happy. Friends bring me joy and make me happy also.
Some flowers, annuals, only last in our gardens for a season; and some, perennials, have longevity, coming back year after year with repeated beauty. Some friendships only last for a short time and others last a lifetime.
If you’ve ever had a friendship that has faded over time, you’ve undoubtedly feel some sadness over it. I know I’ve had a few of these friendships. Often, they simply faded away since one of us physically moved away from the other. With both my father and husband serving as career Marines, I have moved frequently my entire life. Even though these were close friendships at the time, the distance between us eventually won out.
Other friendships ended over a particular circumstance: a difference of opinion, a difference in values, something a little more substantial. Sometimes these friendships were easily dismissed and other times the termination of the friendship hurt deeply.
The friends that were in my life for a moment remind me of annuals. They were beautiful and filled in and complimented the garden of my life for a season.
Then, there are those friendships that are so deep, so intertwined, time and distance mean absolutely nothing. You may see these friends daily, you may go years between seeing them, but when you are together, your friendship and connection never misses a beat. You would do anything for them, and the feeling is mutual. They are there to uplift, comfort, support, encourage, and celebrate you. They are there for you through thick and thin, year after year.
These enduring friendships remind me of perennials. Their beauty shows up year after year. They are faithful and always there for you. Even though they may not be blooming all year long, you know they will be back, ready to show up and delight you.
As I reflect on those “annual friendships,” I’ve decided not to feel bad about them fading away or ending. Just like annual flowers, who fill in your garden for a season, those friends were there for me when I needed them. Maybe they were never intended to be long-term friendships. I am thankful for the gift of them, what they brought to my life and hopefully what I was able to contribute to their lives for the season we had together.
All friendships should be celebrated, no matter how short lived or permanent they are in our lives. In the same way, every flower is a gift from the earth to beautify our world and fill us with joy.