In December, my Mum made me a window box for my Juliet balcony. It’s a beautiful box (and I’ve already put my order in for a second!), filled with hardy plants that will endure the icy Edinburgh wind this winter. Among the planted foliage, Mum gave me a winter rose. A beautiful evergreen perennial, it has blossomed five beautiful, stark white flowers during the snow flurries and windy winter days we’ve been having over the last two months.
There’s something stunningly poetic about the winter rose. It needs very little in the way of care. It actually reacts very badly to being overwatered, which I found out the hard way. The hellebore (check out the Latin/gardening knowledge Wikipedia has taught me) is happiest left to thrive on its own with a little help from the elements. It really loves the Edinburgh weather. My winter rose sits proudly among the greenery Mum planted, making the view from my sofa prettier, and providing me with the perfect analogy for my friendships.
Long distance friendship is hard. Long distance anything is hard. But with friends, there’s the worry that they’ll think you’ve forgotten or moved on or things have fizzled. It happens. Sometimes, though, you find people and with them it doesn’t matter how long you go without seeing them or speaking, you know they’re only ever a message away should you need their advice, support or stories.
Those friendships don’t need much – as life gets more hectic (which life tends to do), and keeping in touch regularly becomes more of an in-joke than a promise, it can be tricky to feel out where you stand with some people. Not your winter roses, though. Your friendships with those beauties will thrive regardless, even after long spells of no communication. The smallest gesture will mean a lot and the friendship will continue to blossom with the knowledge that your friend will be there anytime you need them – day or night, July or December.
I said this to a friend the other day and realised it applied to some other wonderful people who continue to support me, share their love and keep me smiling:
Good friendships don’t need constant tending to. They’re like winter roses – a little sprinkle of water is more than enough to keep them blooming, even on the coldest, darkest days.