Wednesday, May 07, 2008

glad to have a friend like you

Yesterday I visited a friend's new house and an enormous garden. We talked about her goals, her marriage, and choices. Sometimes coming home makes you realize how lucky you are with what you've got! It made my home and garden seem not too big, not too small--just the right size!

I walked past the professor's newly planted irises on my way in: Irises symbolize "faith, wisdom, promise in love, hope, wisdom & valor" in the language of flowers... how appropriate it seemed for us. It does take both wisdom, faith, and a lot of hope to fulfil a promise in love to someone else... Anyone else.

Gladioli also came up recently, and that's another one I looked up in the language of flowers reference I found online. Glads mean "generosity" or "I'm sincere." Sincere? In my gut, I think that means honest. Be generous and loving but honest when your friends want to know what you think...even if it hurts sometimes.

I've been thinking about longterm relationships--with my friends and with the professor and family. When I become someone's good friend, I hope it's for a good long time. I want to be generous and sincere to the person, and it does take wisdom, faith, hope and love, too. In less glamorous terms, it takes effort. It's not all easy.

Constancy? Also necessary, and not always convenient. In this picture, the reddish bushy thing on the right is a Japanese Maple. Last year, during our early freeze and long drought, we worried it would not come back to us. This year, it is big, hearty, and shimmering. Next to it, though, is my Schefflera. When I started college, I had a difficult roommate situation. (There was a lot of drinking and drug use going on. I wasn't doing it...) Within a few weeks, I'd found and moved into a small single room. My parents sent me a plant to celebrate my new, private "home." Part of that original arrangement is this houseplant. 17 years later, the professor and I have transplanted this so many times that I can no longer carry the plant outside each spring--it's too heavy. Harry the dog tried to bury bones in its pot (indoors) as a puppy. It's moved from upstate NY to Virginia, from Virginia to North Carolina, from there to upstate NY again, and then to Kentucky. It's such a hearty plant...and it's a commitment! It has its own special chair in the dining room near a window these days during the winter--so that Harry isn't tempted to dig!

My best friend (met her at age 12!) isn't the obsessive knitter that I am, but recently she's been knitting a lot. She was visiting her grandmother (in her 90's) and had to rush out to buy some cotton yarn and needles. Apparently she really wanted to sit with her grandmother, listen to her, and show her love and respect. However, it was hard to stay focused on it all--without something to keep her hands busy. Sometimes constancy is hard, and you need a little boost (from your knitting, or from a dining room chair!) to stay true to your purpose.
Sometimes, my flower garden is just a bunch of flowers. Lately, while I sit outside and knit, it's allowed me to think more about the quality and meaning of my friendships and relationships. Weirdly philosophic, I know, but there it is. Dependability in the blog posting thing means sometimes the post isn't always fascinating fiber twice a week--or maybe it is. Maybe it's about moral fiber?


Blogger Cathy said...

Moral fiber is good. Comparing friends to the gardens is perfect.

Here's to lifelong good friends - few and far between but ever so worth the journey!

May 7, 2008 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Mrs J said...

It was good to come in from working in my garden to read your post on friends & the language of flowers.
Next winter, take a photo of the tree chair & post it here!

May 7, 2008 at 12:22 PM  
Anonymous AlisonH said...

I love flowers in blogs, and they do speak to us. Part of wisdom is listening to learn, learning to listen to the things quietly blooming around us.

Meantime (on a totally different note), every time I hope we've had a frost bad enough to finally kill off my Meyer lemon, it bounces back. It's not the New Improved variety, it's the Old Icky variety with nice juice and a pith that could--you've never ever tasted something so barbarically bitter, I assure you. We have to be very careful not to let the juice touch the white, or it's hosed. I'm too lazy to cut down a producing tree and wait for a new one to grow. And nature refuses to do it for me--the thing's probably 50 years old.


May 7, 2008 at 6:50 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

I agree with you Joanne, it is all about nurturing...our friends, our plants...even our fiber arts...they all need nourishment if they are to develop to the fullest potential. Great analogy- beautiful flowers!

May 8, 2008 at 7:32 AM  

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