Friday, July 11, 2008

Just Like the Seasons

Amazing how much life changes. When I was in high school, I didn't really think about how very liquid your friendships can be. We all thought we were best friends, to the end, never thought we'd lose touch. And yet, some friends can move through your life like a swift river. They come, they leave their mark for better or worse, and they go. They carve out a piece of you, leaving you changed. I think the changes, no matter if done with love, hate, or indifference, always bring about beauty. I think that no matter how badly things might be when you part ways, there's still a lasting beauty left behind. There's the beauty of the good times, of course. But there's also the beauty of the strength and change that happens within you from anything that goes badly. We all grow and change as a result of the people who leave us.

I have always tried to live my life while keeping in mind that I would rather have that bad parting or that fight or that ugly blow up, if it means I had the beautiful part of the relationship. I would never give up my wonderful memories to avoid the painful ones. Never. And that, I think, is how a person keeps from becoming bitter and nasty to people, old and new.

Yes, I have a few people from my past for whom I still have some anger and yes, one even has (deservedly so) my antipathy. But for the most part, I try to let that go. I try to see the results of the worst of it. I try to see how much more love I have for the people who truly care about me. I try to see the strength of my friendships that I retain, how much deeper and more amazing because they weathered a storm or two. And I try to see how my judgment and personality have been formed by those who are no longer within my sphere.

So it is the wounds that highlight the best in our lives. I truly do feel that I would not appreciate what I have today if yesterday had not happened. I would not appreciate comfort if I had not felt pain. I would not appreciate life if I had not faced death. And I would not appreciate the friends I have if I had never lost the ones who are gone.


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