Sunday, August 16, 2009

Friends: A Garden Analogy

I'm sure I'm not the only person to have ever come up with this analogy, but I've been pondering an entry for tonight, and this is what came to me. I apologize for the repetition if someone else has already written something similar. If it's completely original, excellent. Please enjoy, and remember that it's copyright © 2009 Jason Bloom, all rights reserved.

And it's going to sound like a motivational poster, or one of those heart-warming chain emails. It can't be helped.

I was thinking that friendship is like a garden, and most of the friends you'll make in life are like the plants. There are the weeds, of course. Friends that you can't seem to get rid of. Friends that you know aren't good for you, but you can't leave behind. They may have even been wanted plants at one point, plants that have now grown out of control, to the detriment of the rest of your garden. Those "friends" need to be plucked out by the root and thrown away for good. But a well-tended garden should be mostly free of them.

Most of the plants in a well-kept garden are meant to be there. Some are the annuals, lasting for a short time and then going back out of your life. We all have had friends like that. Beautiful while they last, but destined to be temporary.

Others are like perennials, returning year after year, getting stronger and fuller with age. These are the friends you develop lasting relationships with. Friendships that change over time, gaining and losing prominence in your overall garden, but always returning. These friends stay with you through drought and flood, feast and famine. However...

Both the annuals and perennials require care. The plants require watering, feeding and tending to remain healthy. Same with the friendships. Ignore them, stop tending to them, or take them for granted, and they can die. They won't necessarily, of course, but you very much increase the risk.

But every garden contains some rocks, and these are your true friends. Friends that will be there no matter what. Allow every plant in your garden to whither and die, and the rocks will still be there. In fact the soil in your garden is just finely ground rock. So the rocks in your garden allow every other friendship to grow. They provide the foundation. A garden without rocks is a barren garden indeed.

Thankfully almost no one has a "rockless" garden.

Feel free to imagine whatever inspirational imagery you'd like to accompany the above analogy.

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