I was having a conversation with a friend this week who made a reference to a poem that, in short, goes "Some people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you'll know exactly what to do." I am a firm believer in this concept, although I believe that a person can occupy one or more than one category, they can be a reason and a season or a reason and a lifetime.
One of my favorite books is Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gifts From the Sea which echoes the poem my friend referenced:
"When you love someone; you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides."
Perhaps we put too much pressure on relationships of all kinds assuming they are larger and more significant than simply being a reason or a season. The gift of a reason or a season can have as much impact as one of a lifetime and if we are focused only on longevity, we miss the gift of the present.
What do you think?