Growing and Tending Your Garden...of Friendships
As we move into "High Harvest Season" with a dizzying array of fruit, vegetables, herbs, flowers, and more, it's prudent for each and all of us to remember to tend to another garden that can yield tremendous harvests...not for one day or one season, but for a lifetime. Our garden of friends and friendships has the potential to be for both a life-time and a lifeline.
As we nurture our gardens, our houseplants, fruit trees - whatever grows, really - around and within our homes, it is at least as important, if not more so, to take and share regular time to invest in the nurturance of our friendships. While we may water, de-weed, pinch off flowers on herbs, cover berry bushes from birds, and so much more, the focus and attention we put into our friends and relationships will also come back to feed and nourish us, from our souls to our psyches, from our physical bodies to our fertile minds.
We know what happens when we don't mow our grassy lawns for a month, or two. Not pretty - and the lawn becomes scraggly, messy, imbalanced, out of control. May it also be said that paying little or no attention to our friends may put things out of kilter after awhile? Friendships deserve time, energy, and presence. If we are laconic about any of this, the friendships we have may become listless or staid as we become more and further out of touch. Any and all living things need and deserve attention in order to thrive; even in the wild, nature and her cycles furnish what is needed for even the most needy plants to maintain themselves (think "extreme environments" here - those that you've been to, or seen on TV, or read about...).
How, then, to make the investment and engage or re-engage in nourishing and replenishing our friendships? First, we have to decide for ourselves that friends and friendships are a priority. Coming (albeit slowly) out of Covid, we are being afforded the possibility of reconnecting, in person, with those we have long considered friends but have been unable to connect with face-to-face (unless masked and apart) for too long.
If we want and desire this, then it is up to each of us to"go for it", and take the initiative to take back/bring back our personalized and chosen relationships with those whom we most care about. Letting them know this personally and directly in one very fine place to start - an appreciation, an invitation, an offering. Making suggestions - or asking for theirs -
are both BIG and simple steps to taking the next step in the journey of friendship. Then: follow up and make something happen between you and your friend(s). Whether an in-person visit, a facetime phone call, a zoom session, photos and letters shared - doing something - anything - meaningful, will advance the cause and the depth of your friendship. Above all, don't let your friendships go untended and un-nurtured: there sense of inertia makes it all the more challenging to push your "Friendship Re-start" button. So, take that first step today: reach out to a friend. it's a win/win proposition.
For further ideas, and for more support, read my new book, Reflections on the Nature of Friendship. It's written in plain language, has lots of personal stories and how-to's, and engages all aspects of each of us through story, poetry, music, literature, quotes across time and culture, and three of my own case studies. It's available in softcover through my website (danielyalowitz.com), or as both an ebook and paperback through amazon.com. Go through my website, and I will be delighted to personalize an inscription and sign it for you!