Friendship can be defined as a close emotional relationship with someone else. Friends can be made at any age and anywhere. Most friendships develop out of a shared common interest such as hobbies, sports, clubs, etc. and they vary in depth and longevity.
I once heard how relationships can be compared to a tree in that the roots, branches, and leaves represent all seasons of our friendships. The roots are the people that are the closest to you like family and long standing friendships. The branches are people who are close to you but are only in your life for a season and the leaves represent friends that come and go quickly in your life; they are to be enjoyed but they are not going to be rooted in your life.
It has been my personal experience that I have friendships that fall into all these categories. At a young age, I met friends in Florida that became deeply rooted in my life even to this day. Our friendship has developed into a “family- like” relationship and without any contact, we are able to pick up where we left off after any lapse of time. It was through our shared interest in church, sports, family that we became so close. I would consider these friends to fall into the “rooted” category of the tree.
As I grew older, my interest changed from sports to gaming online. Then that I learned about the online community and developed some close relationships with other guys my age. My online friendships expand all over the world; Kuwait, Canada, New York, Iran, Georgia, Arizona, and Japan. I have learned so much from these people; about their cultures, about the differences in how they live, about the differences in our families. To date, we have yet to meet in person but they impact my daily life. However, we do plan to meet soon over summer. I believe these friends fall into the “branches” category at this time of my life because we are restricted due to our location and age. I do believe, however, that some of these friends will be deeply rooted in my life given different circumstances.
The leaf category of friendship represent people who come and go from your life frequently. I consider most of my friends at school to fall into the category of “leaf”. These friendships that come and go frequently serve an important part of my life. They allow me to have a daily interaction with others who are of the same age and who have similar encounters as mine. Although I know these friendships won't last a lifetime, I still enjoy the time we share now. I will carry the memories and shared experiences with me as we move forward. Their impact will be felt for a lifetime.
Friendships are to be cherished. No matter how rooted or how quickly they come and go, it is important to have these relationships in our lives and enjoy them. Friendships not only help us grow but they also allow us to build into others as well. It is our human nature to want to interact with others like this; we need others and they need us.