A Friend For All Seasons

A Friend For All Seasons
by Alvin C. Romer

I used to always hear the references to what it means to “have a friend for all seasons” and knew that they didn’t apply to me. Moreover, I didn’t even know what the significance of such an analogy implied. As I attempted to assess my own definition, it never came to any real meaning until I found the true meaning of friendship from within my own way of thinking. In life, there should always be someone to talk to, confide in, and share those intimate moments that only those close to you should be privy to. Choosing that “someone” may prove to be the hardest thing to do–especially if you’re closed-mouthed or introverted in a way that shyness or any form of reticence would cause you to retreat into your shell.

It was always hard for me, but nevertheless, I’ve always been fascinated by what individual merit one adhered to when making the decision for friendship in the first place. As early as I can remember, I’ve entertained the notion of having someone as a close confidante, or having another “ear'” to share thoughts and dreams – if only I could trust that person to keep them mum as if they were theirs. As a child growing up, I imagined myself in all of those places that I read about. At times, I wondered what would be my fate later in life, how I would be defined, or what niche I would claim. As a result of those unanswered questions, it wasn’t a coincidence that I’d find myself deep in thought, becoming the hero of some episodic yarn or wishing for something impossible to attain.

You see, Walter Mitty (a legendary fictional character who daydreamed heroic feats) had nothing on me, for I’d regularly drift off within my own space and conjure up some outlandish dramas worthy of Hollywood’s best! I grew older, still clinging to hopes that perhaps, one day, I’d be able to realize some of those dreams. Some of those vivid recollections I remembered were the profound effects of the lack of friendship and how that affected me. To say that I’ve never had a true friend wouldn’t be an understatement. To compensate for my behavioral patterns and the inability to align myself with others my age, I sought refuge in books, libraries, and positioned them in the far corners of my mind. Ironically, well into adulthood, I’m still searching for the inner peace and contentment that friendship would embody.

Individually it’s not where we are, but what we are that makes us near or far from others. Sometimes, we seem far removed from people close by because we’ve not found that inner bond of understanding and accord that having a friend would stabilize. Have you ever heard someone say, “the people I know don’t seem to want or need my love, appreciation, and understanding?” Or, have you seen people who always avoid or reject your honest attempts to disallow endeavors at making overtures toward friendship? What about your own failure to meet someone halfway?

In subsequent years, I’ve reached different levels of maturity. I’ve learned to accept truths about myself that have shaped my concept of making and keeping friends. I find myself usually applying personal idiosyncrasies that would deter my better intent. However, what has pointedly solidified my logic can be attributed from a spiritual viewpoint. I manifest it by quoting a specific passage from the Bible about friendship: “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20). In addition to the aforementioned scripture, God illustrated what role companionship played in the creation of Adam, who could not have gained the greatest possible satisfaction of a perfect world without Eve. As a social being, he needed the understanding, sympathy, and togetherness of one who shared his nature and human love. Are we any different today? The theological aspect of attaining and fostering friendship is important and shouldn’t be ignored.

My assessment and the definition of seasonal friendship….

My definition to depict how friendship can take on different perceptions based on intent can be summed up by how the seasons interact with how we make decisions on choosing friends and companions. I make analogy to it by using those same seasons to illustrate my point. My thirst for a real friend has taught me many lessons on judgment and the ability to discern. Nowadays, I use deductive reasoning, and common sense to know what I need to make a viable decision. Even using this type of analogy is no guarantee for success. I found out that there’s more than one kind of friend. To further elucidate this concept, the question will always be asked, “What’s the definition of a friend?” I usually come up with several generic answers. I feel that a true friend is a treasure whose worth is beyond computation. It should be based on common interest, mutual understanding, and genuine personal affection.

Beware, though, of those who pretend to be close or those whose life is directed by different value systems. I confess, and you should too, of making the terrible choices we tend to make in a lifetime of optional endeavors that impact our lives. As we live and learn, experience forces us to draw conclusions on an individual basis and be accountable thereof. Paradoxically, to lose a friend can be just as devastating as the inability to find and keep one. I’ve had to learn to be careful because there are situations beyond normal control that can undermine the greatest intent. I’m older and wiser and as time progressed, I’ve had many trials and tribulations as it relates to companionship.

My personal convictions concerning contentment in life are about growing stronger as I make my choices-having to spring forward with its refreshing buds, fragrant blossoms, and its splashing streams of new hope, for it’s this new lease on life that defines the chance to make new friends. Summertime is time for fun and relaxation….its madness boasting warm breezes, bright sunshine, and showing off those sultry, shimmering afternoons with beautiful sunsets. There are long days with lingering nostalgic memories where we dread going back to work. But autumn has already found me like a fallen leaf, a victim of my overzealous need to fraternize. Nevertheless, as I regain my posture with each invigorating attempt to keep that season alive, I’m aware that the kaleidoscope of colors that make earth tones so mesmerizing is also what keeps birds flocking together in harmonious flight. As I apprehensively await winte’s melancholy mood and its tendency for sadness and no friends in the midst, I’m alone trapped, a victim of the elements–but still craving that friend!

My overall assessment of having a friend for all seasons is one who comes in when the whole world goes out. In my quest to find a friend, I will continue to look for those who share similar values and convictions; I will endeavor to impart whatever knowledge I possess so that their growth is as spontaneous as mine. I profess to gravitate toward that type of friend whom I’d be most apt to recognize as a peer–someone with whom I may share ideas, concepts, and the best of plans–someone who could stimulate me to be my best and achieve the most for all the right reasons and the loftiest purposes. My friend for all seasons would be one whom I’d look up to as a model–someone who has traveled the path before me, wouldn’t lead me astray, and to whom I could look to for wise council. Last but not least, there is the true friend who personifies the goals that I’ve set for myself and who loves with conditions–someone who will readily point me to Proverbs 27: 5-6 admonishing that, “Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”

I feel that now is the time for me to acknowledge the needs of others who may need a friend. Hope doesn’t require a massive chain where heavy links of logic hold it together, but rather a simple loving gesture of compassion. Not only do I now understand what is needed to find friendship, I’ve also found lessons that won’t be forgotten in fostering someone I can trust. And it all comes back to having someone to reach out and touch — a bridge to a willing heart. Someone, who no matter what the circumstances, would be willing to give a much-needed hug or an affectionate kiss on the cheek. That is a friend for all seasons!

About the Author

Alvin C. Romer is a Freelance writer and Essayist from Miami, Fl; Copyright © 200
6. Visit him at his website: www.theromerreview.com