Thoughts on Wilting Plants and Friendships That Die

It had been a slow fade. There was no heated argument, no obvious transgression that separated us. We went from spending hours upon hours together every week, to talking on the phone only every once in a while. Soon our communication dwindled to nothing, and our friendship started to remind me of the potted succulent wilting on my windowsill. Admittedly, I have never been very proficient at growing plants. But it seemed like no matter how frequently I watered the little sprout or strategically positioned it to receive more sunlight, it continued to wither. Eventually it just shriveled up and died.

Friendship can be complicated. As someone who cares about people deeply, I don’t easily adjust to relational change. If I had it my way, friendships would never change. I would have a window line-up of the same potted plants and they would for SURE never die. But relationships don’t work that way, do they? Because people change, and I change, and sometimes what I need or desire even changes. Sometimes I need to be transplanted to a new pot because I am growing beyond the bounds of what my current environment can support. Sometimes I need more sunlight, or less water, or a different kind of soil. Sometimes change—even relational change—is not only good but necessary. 

That plant-less pot of dirt still sits on my bookshelf, a reminder that sometimes I need to just let go. Nothing will diminish the joy that little succulent brought to my space and life, though…even for just a short season. In the same way, that friendship was everything I needed for a brief time in my life. We got to sit together on the windowsill of life for a few short months, encouraging each other to grow and drink deeply of the water being offered to us. I’ve since been transplanted to a new pot, she to a different windowsill, but I will never forget those months we had together and the ways in which she fertilized my soul. I am a stronger and more compassionate woman because she was in my life. For that I am forever grateful, even if we never sit on the same windowsill again.

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