Friendships, like the Seasons

It’s hotter than God’s breath outside. My kitchen chalkboard still says “Welcome Summer” yet here we are sweating our boobers off in the waning days of this season. How did the end sneak up on us so quickly? I’m delighted that it’s winding down, yet saddened by the reality that… Well… It’s winding down. I’ll admit, sweat down the crack is getting old, my body has been mangled by blood sucking mosquito vampires the size of my palm for months on end now & I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again… The humidity here in southeastern Virginia is the equivalent of gulping down warm salty seawater with every deep breath. Yet I adore so much about this season. Without it there would be no tomatoes & peppers, watermelon, blueberries, figs, flowers & farm markets. The beaches would be barren with no summer sun warming the Atlantic waters & we’d never feel the true satisfaction of the first scent of wood smoke wafting through a fall sky if we didn’t experience the lengthy stretch of summer’s scorch. Summer is splendid. No denying it, no way. I welcome summer every year with open arms & I wave it goodbye with an abundance of gratitude at the end of the season, knowing that while it was here, I sucked the marrow from each & every day as best I could. We’re almost ready to wave goodbye, but not just yet.

So I’ve been thinking about how we can rely on the seasons to comfort us, heal us in certain ways, support our endeavors & contribute to the well being of our existence. Just like our dearest friends, each season is unique & offers up something exclusive that we are better for having as part of our lives. In the summer, I relish in the joy of gardening. The summer sun brings fruit on the vine, which feeds my family & supplements our nutrition. Friendship is like summer in that it blossoms in the most beautiful ways & supplements our energy when we are running empty or feeling depleted. The fruit of friendship comes in many forms. This week I’ve witnessed friends feed our souls in countless ways with their love & overwhelming generosity.

On that first cool day of fall, the air feels overwhelmingly fresh & clean as you breathe it deep into your lungs. It’s rejuvenating, even energizing! I forever think of fall as a time when I catch my second wind & I feel a pulse of newfound energy. Friendship is like fall in that when a friend reaches out to us in our time of need, she truly serves as a breath of fresh air. She picks us up when you are worn down & she serves as that second wind we just can’t seem to find on our own.

In the winter the large harvests are done, the earth calms down & begins to fall asleep. A peace inducing current mysteriously moves through the air as grey skies loom, enticing us to build blazing fires in the wood stove, settle in beneath cozy quilts & cook heavy comfort foods to warm the body & induce deep, healing rest. Friends are like winter in that when the dust settles and the busy season or overwhelming life happenings slow down around us, our heartmates are there to encourage us to embrace the calm. They offer us a path to rest & peace with their generosity & service. Just like the cold blanket of grey that encourages us to retreat into a healing hibernation, our friends do much of the same. They are our blankets of warmth in the cold seasons of our lives.

Spring is the time of year when all is euphoric! Seedlings sprout out of the once frozen, icy earth reminding us that change is inevitable & through peace & patience, rest & retreat, we can awaken to newness & joyfulness. Friends are like spring in that they plant the seeds of happiness with their presence, promise of growth & anticipated return in our lives. Just like spring’s will to live, true friendships have a remarkable will to flower, flourish & thrive. We see this in our times of need, when our friends push through the icy cold hardness of the seemingly debilitating storms in our lives, simply to shed a little light, melt our hearts a bit with their warm authenticity & ultimately sprout seeds of hope with their steadfast presence in good times & bad.

For those of you who have reached out to my sister & her family over the past couple of weeks with your delicious meals, incredible gestures of love, ceaseless prayers & astounding thoughtfulness, I am not exaggerating when I say your presence is like bona fide magical medicine for the soul. I can’t even express the gratitude we all have for your love & presence in our lives. Faithful friendships withstand every season of life. Our blessings are immense.

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