Winter is finally winding down and so begins preparations for spring. Since becoming a mom, spring cleaning means a little more than just cleaning house. I also have to spend a few hours putting back winter coats, gloves, hats, sweaters, etc. and dig out the spring jackets, short-sleeve shirts, and outside play toys. There are always old things to put away until next winter and others to be discarded as they have filled their use. I go to the store and buy new packs of bubbles and chalk. I also pull out favorite bouncy balls and bikes. There are so many things to do at the start of a new season.
Spring time is also a time when people start buying cars and looking at houses. In the three plus years we were trying to sell our home, my husband and I knew we had to wait until spring to see a fresh batch of homes hit the real estate market. There is something about being able to open up a window and let the outside come in after being shut off for so long that makes so many people ready to take on something more. Sometimes the fresh feeling of the new season can make a person make poor choices. For example, nice weather seems to bring out the worst drivers. Wait until the first sunny, fifty degree day ahead. The nutty people will be out cutting people off and driving like they just got their licenses (Yes, I have an issue with irrational drivers). Sometimes the spring fever hits and people go out and buy a new car because, hey, it’s spring. When winter comes around, they will realize it was a poor purchase. I admit, I have been there before. When life feels new and energetic, there are chances to be taken and adventures to be had and the consequences of which can be dealt with later. When the cold once again arrives, it is time to think of stocking up, being reliable, and preparing for the worst. There are always adjustments to be made and changes to be seen in every season, even with friends.
The older I get, the harder it is to keep in contact with those dear friends I had grown up with. Now over fifteen years have passed and I barely have a handful of those friends. I now have what seems to be a supply of seasonal friends. These friends are not always around but come out when the seasons of my life demand and they are not always meant to stay. Even those old friends I regret spending seldom time with are sometimes only meant to be in the early season of life. We all need a friend for the changing seasons of our lives. We all change and grow and are provided with just the right person to help us forge ahead. At a hard time in life, we may need that reckless and crazy friend that will do almost anything to put a smile on our face. Sometimes we need the irrational driver to jump in the front seat with us to test our boundaries and dare us to go just a little further. Yet another friend can be there to clean up and sort for the next season of life when a big change has happened. Most of the time, friends seem like those favorite bouncy balls my kids ask me to take out in the spring. They bounce in and out of life but are always so much fun when they come around. Every once in a while, a friend no longer fits in the natural rotation of life and we have to separate but there is always another on the horizon.
I have struggled with my own inability to make friends easily and I am often saddened by the sparse group I have left. I have cried and wondered how I needed to change in order to feel close to more people. The older I get, the more I realize the quantity does not matter. Who and when is what matters. Life has a good way of providing just what we need right when we need it, although we may have to look a bit harder. Those old friends may not be around today, but they were there when we needed them. Those bouncy ball friends, they are awesome to have when we need a fresh breath of air, and those steady friends, they are the best of all. The ones who are around for every season, no matter how many, are the ones truly worthwhile.