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Tending the Garden of Friendship: Sunday Musings 5/1/11

Sunday musings (in the rain)…

1) Rain. April showers may bring May flowers, but if my basement floods one more time this Spring…

2) Rain and the floods. “Pray to God, but keep rowing toward shore.”

3) Rain and friendship. Friendship is on my mind quite often. I ponder it as I think about friends old and new. My 25th graduate school reunion is in a month or so (note to self: make plane reservation), and I am pleasantly surprised at the number of old friends and friendly acquaintances who are emerging from the mists of my past. Misplaced, lost, or cast aside, the skeletons of friendships past walk with me, still.

We are blessed, fortunate beyond measure, if we can count among the masses a single friend. One to whom we can always turn, from whom we withhold nothing, who will give to us everything. To have more than one friend such as this is to have a kind of wealth that beggars description.

If we are lucky enough to have friends they are joined in the garden of our lives by that next best thing, friendly acquaintances, and these in turn are surrounded by acquaintances, the entire garden encircled by farmland that lies, for the moment at least, unexplored.

The garden analogy is an apt one for friendship. A garden requires tending and so, too, does a friendship. Left untended, left to chance, it is certainly possible for a garden to flourish, but all too often both gardens and friendships ignored too long have a beauty that is but a cherished memory, seen only with the mind’s eye.

Friendship, like a garden, grows best when exposed to both sun AND rain, albeit for different reasons. A friendship that has known only sunny days may weather that first storm; a friendship that has known both sun and rain is steeled against any and all weather, especially if we gardeners were active in the tending despite the elements.

Who is your friend? Who is there for you in both sunshine and rain? From whom do you wish only friendship, and who asks only the same from you? Have you done your part? Have you tended your garden in both sunshine AND rain?

4) Rain, tears. “I have given up all hope of a happier past.” A better, more poetic version of the lesson Simba “absorbed” from Rafiki about longing for the past or hoping that it will change if one wishes just a little harder. The ball STILL goes through Buckner’s legs each time I watch.

The moment is NOW. Now is what we have. We have learned from the past, and we plan to apply what we have learned to the future, but what we have is “now”. Now is all there is. Pay attention. Now is important. The people you are with, the task at hand, the place you occupy NOW are what you have. Pay attention; don’t miss the moments now.

In the end “[all] those moments will be lost in time. Like tears in rain.”

I’ll see you next week…


2 Responses to “Tending the Garden of Friendship: Sunday Musings 5/1/11”

  1. May 5th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Apolloswabbie says:

    Yes, NOW, and I feel it as I live and breath, it’s a great moment to be alive and have a friend like you D, thanks.

    Challenge – in the past when facing transitions like my coming retirement/move/new career I have not been able to pull it off without anxiety and very little enjoyment, thus also little immagination and grace. Can I shift this pattern? Big challenge, I face it like a crossfit wod, not knowing what I can do, but focused on bringing everything I can to the task …

  2. May 5th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    darrellwhite says:

    Wow, Paul, do I wish I had some deep words of wisdom to help with the transition. You are viewing this, I feel, as a game to be played “not to lose.” It’s such a big step, such a big change. Might you look at it, rather, as a rather grand adventure, one that might produce a surprising, and surprisingly positive result if you “play to win?”

    Just a thoutht. Thanks as always for your feedback.

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