Happy Little Trees

Posted: March 4, 2015 in Uncategorized
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By Tricia Lunt, English Faculty

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.~Emerson

Great friendships have been a hallmark of my life. The reason for this is a mystery. I can’t claim responsibility for such an extraordinary advantage. Doing so would be akin to a great singer taking credit for the astonishing beauties of music. Like a devoted musician, I develop and nurture my friendships, but the realization of so many close and lasting relationships is a mysterious and innate talent I have somehow been bestowed. how_i_became_a_fairy_godmotherI shall presume an incredibly wise fairy godmother worked to ensure that my life positively overflows with enchanting friends.

My closest friends possess similar traits, but are all different types of people. Early on, I established a habit of seeing a potential friend in any and every kind of individual. Happily, contemporary life allows for my friendships among men and women to thrive, no matter their relationship status. Throughout much of history, the kind of intimacy between the sexes would have been perceived as odd, or problematic. Childhood friends have remained close, spending time with me with or without their partners. My friends are wealthy, middle class, and struggling, or in some state of flux. I find that money rarely matters, and if I any of us have a bit more, the only thing that changes is the regularity and expense of gifts and trips. I have friends in every age group. Many of my friends are a decade older or younger than I am. Whether older or younger, these friends provide an opportunity to witness the exquisite, shapeshifting nature of life, the eagerness and anxiety of youth transforming into certainty and contentment. I am privileged to have friends from different backgrounds of every sort. I like all types of people, and, fortunately, they like me, too.

Fantastic friendships are phenomenal treasures.Of the things my friends do have in common, here’s the only absolute: they all make me laugh. As for the rest, they are just geaudennerally too good to be true. They tend to be graceful, and find my clumsiness amusing. Often they are beautiful, in ways subtle and intense. They surprise me with thoughtful and generous gifts of time and attention. They inspire me to try new things; they challenge my rigidity; they encourage me to stay up late and go out dancing.

Good friendships are profoundly beautiful, deeply comforting, and just plain fun. I suppose I ought to write a friend-by-friend discussion and analysis, but that would require much more time than I have at the moment, and I fear accidentally forgetting someone, which would be unforgivable.

 

I have been planning an art project affectionately described as a “friend orchard” along the lines of a family tree. In this orchard, trees would designate different friend groups: Cleveland friends, graduate school friends, library school friends, Chicago friends, 826 friends, work friends, and the Urban Family. This strategy would always allow room to add new friends.

Whether or not the project is ever completed, I delight in the idea of growing friendships enough to fill a forest.

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