In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ~Albert Schweitzer
Cultivating friendship is much like cultivating a garden. You just don’t plunk a plant down and hope it grows without any effort. If either is to evolve they require many of the same things in order to thrive over time. Time being the operative word here.
It is another Word for Wednesday hosted by Donna@Garden Walk, Garden Talk. The word for this week is evolve or to develop gradually. Friendships and gardens need time to evolve to their fullest potential. There is work involved if we want success in both these relationships. And I do look upon the garden as a type of relationship or friendship. So what are the important aspects for promoting healthy relationships, friendships or gardens?
1. Giving-What you give is as important as how you give it. Does what you give enrich the relationship?
2. Encouraging- What do you say or do to assist or inspire your friend, your garden.
3. Understanding-Do you know them well? Do you see what they need?
4. Flexible-Sometimes you have to let things happen in their own time. Friendships and gardens don’t grow according to our schedule but according to their own. So go with the flow and reap the rewards.
5. Accepting-Everyone is different and it is in these differences that we learn from each other. Respect these differences, cultivate them.
6. Available-Make time to spend with friends, and make time to be in the garden to experience it; help it grow.
I have been blessed by many friendships over the years. Last week my hubby and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary. We have a very close, caring loving friendship, and I think that is because we do practice the aspects above. Friendships don’t develop or evolve because we spend every waking moment together. Yes at first we are enamored with our new found relationship. Then as it evolves, we come to respect our time apart as much as our time together. I have a very special, dear friend who no longer lives close by. We don’t talk often. I am not a phone person, but once we get together on the phone or in person, we just pick up where we left off. It’s as if time stood still for those in between times waiting for us to pick up again. That to me is the mark of a true friendship.
And it is so with my relationship with my garden. Come spring we pick up where we left off in the fall. Glad to be back together after such a long absence. Anticipation is high waiting for the first sprigs of green to appear, the first blooms to open. I lovingly care for her as she awakens. As our time together evolves, the garden grows stronger. It erupts with growth, color and fruit; strong from those warm months each one of us giving unselfishly. As our time to part nears, we spend as much time together as we can making memories, trying to capture them in pictures and saying our goodbyes until we see each other again.
One of my first posts was entitled, Grief. I talked about my memory garden and how I plant flowers that remind me of loved ones departed. More recently, I have been receiving blessings from friends and garden friends in the form of, what else, plants!
Several years ago my mother-in-law, Clara, gave me a Christmas cactus that she had for years. It suddenly wasn’t doing too well, and she hoped I could care for it. I took the plant and cared for it. It is well loved, and it returns the love of fertilizer, water and wonderful warm sunshine outside all summer with oodles of blooms for months on end. When Clara passed away in 2005, I wanted something from her garden to put in my mine as a remembrance. The orange chrysanthemum pictured at the top of this post is the plant I chose. Her mums grew 2 feet high and 2 feet wide. They were her pride and joy. This one took a while to thrive, but it loves its new spot near the pond. The sunshiny flowers remind me of Clara.
Students from a former job grew these gaillardia from seed in their greenhouse lab. They gave them to me for my garden. These flowers have evolved from tiny starter plants to a mass of plants just seeding themselves all over. They are very special to me.
My dear friend who lives so far away gifted some of her most prized flowers to me before she moved. The ‘Kopper King’ hibiscus (pictured above) was her favorite and she wanted me to have this because she knew I would always give it great care. It took a long time for it to evolve. It needed just the right spot. Once it thrived, I divided it and now have it growing in a few more spots. Wherever I see it, I am reminded of her.
My NY blogger friend Becky, at Plants and Stones, gardens SE of me in the Catskill region of New York State. Becky had a post about her wonderful irises which I admired. Before I knew it, Becky was emailing me asking if I would like some of her irises that she was dividing. Of course I would love any she would be willing to give. Here is what she sent. They arrived in June and with the drought I thought it best to pot them up until fall. They have been thriving all summer in wonderful soil waiting to be placed throughout the garden. I can’t wait to see these beauties bloom next spring. Although Becky and I have not met, these pass-a-long plants have kindled a wonderful friendship.
I had a couple more local garden friends give me poppies and irises for my garden. I always find just the right spot for them; they are like a new friend. And aren’t gardeners such wonderful friends. We readily share advice and plants with others who cherish plants and gardens. We welcome the plants to our gardens, and care for them as if they were our own waiting for them to evolve. And they do evolve; becoming our own as we love them.
The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when they discover that someone else believes in them and is willing to trust them.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Special Note: All plants pictured are pass-a-long plants and greatly cherished in my evolving garden.
Hope you enjoyed my first post at Beautiful Wildlife Garden, If You Build It…. I blog the first Saturday of every month at BWG.
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Shameless Book Flaunt–For those that have asked my poems were published in the book, The Moment I Knew. You can order the book from the publisher Sugati Publications where more of the proceeds go to the womens’ groups chosen by the authors. Free shipping from the publisher as well. You can also order it from Amazon soon. I hope you enjoy the book and I would love to hear your feedback on my poems.