Several years ago, I was told that friends come into our lives for certain seasons. Her meaning behind this? Friends come and go. We cross paths with certain people for certain periods of time and for certain reasons.
It's not as if it's a planned thing. I didn't meet a someone in 2002 and decide we'd only be friends for three years. But sometimes, that's just how it happens.
Think of it like we're leaves that have separated ourselves from the trees on which we grew. We're caught up in a cool, autumn breeze and are blown to wherever our destinies may lead. Sometimes that means we end up in a pile of other leaves. Sometimes we float along on our own for a while. Sometimes we get thrown into some kind of mulching machine. Okay, that one might have been a bad metaphor.
What about a path kind of analogy? We're walking along the path that makes up our lives. Along the way, our paths merge with others. Some follow the same path for a long time. Others for a short time. Either way, it seems that we're in each others lives for these seasons for a reason.
We come alongside some friends because we need them, or they need us. And when that time of need has ended, we move on. Or they move on. Again, it's not as if something like this is planned. People just grow apart after a while. Life gets busy with careers, families, other friends. Slowly but surely, contact begins to cease.
Change is a difficult thing to go through. Most of the time, anyway. Sometimes it can be really hard to let go of the people we've come to love. We go through so much with our friends. We experience joy and sadness together. And then it all goes away.
No, it's not always like this. Always is too big a word and it's way too all-encompassing. Because I know that there are some people who stick around for life. Those are some rare people.
Sadly, and more often, it just gets too difficult to maintain some friendships. And that's when you just have to let go and let the season change. Does that mean those limited time relationships mean any less than they did at the peak of the friendship? Absolutely not. And when you do finally get back in touch with each other, there's a good chance you can find a lot of great things to talk about.
Hang on to what you can. But really, don't be afraid to let go. Embrace the changing seasons.