By Lisa Huddleston
Today I read a book written by a church acquaintance/friend. Her writing is tender and full of accounts of the richness of relationships and real friends, and as I read I felt jealous. I was not jealous of not being found in her inner circle–I was jealous of having a real circle of my own. As an introvert my definition of friend varies a bit from my more outgoing pals who list hundreds under that title. I on the other hand list only two or three or four people in that category.
As I finished the book, I continued to ponder my realtionships and consider a connection I recognized between the plants growing in my yard and the relationships growing in my life. I assume that is because we bought a whole flat full of the loveliest flowers you’ve ever seen this past Saturday. Mom and I planted all afternoon and then carefully watered our new additions–crossing our fingers that they would thrive. As we planted we often encountered “volunteer” plants that were happily growing in our beds. Some were vegetable garden escapees (mainly asparagus) and some were delicately blooming weeds. We laughed that if these weeds were harder to grow we would have bought some at the garden center along with the lavender, calla lilies, and petunias. But we plucked them out instead and threw them on the compost pile.
Today I wondered if that is how I view my friends. Are the easy relationships too often discounted because of their simplicity? They don’t require much–they may even be blood relatives who have to love me–and therefore I don’t appreciate them as I should. I look at others who never see me or introduce themselves repeatedly as though we have never met as the valuable ones. I mean if someone already loves me how discerning can they be?
Does my author acquaintance/friend appreciate her friends more than I? Is that why her stories glow with the fire of familial love? Is that why people flock to her and crave her time? Perhaps.
For sure I could do more to value the dandelions and morning glories in my life. Sunflowers and honeysuckles. I need to appreciate them more and even love those who are willing to love me back. Wild roses with thorns and all. The beauty of the bouquet is found not in the rareness of the flowers but in the variety of the colors.