The People We Pick

How do they arrive? This year, in Brady-Bunch squares. Or, sometimes, 6 feet away on the porch.

My world feels both bigger and smaller now. So few people are physically in my space. I can count the people I’ve hugged without using all the fingers on one hand. At the same time, next Friday I’ll be presenting to more than a hundred people—maybe more than 200—at a conference. I never would have done that in the Before Times. I know all of you, on this call, only in virtual space. Yet I’ve told stories here that no one else has heard.

The people we pick—or the ones who pick us—arrive, perhaps, when and how we need them. Sometimes, they leave again. That is hard. We have no rituals for it—the evanescence of friendship, of bodies that leave us during this time of not-gathering.

The people we pick. Some are like cut flowers from the garden, only for a time. Others, we root firmly in the soil of our lives; hopefully more like perennials, returning year after year… or the thistles I cannot keep from popping up everywhere. Not like the houseplants I can kill even when friends assure: This one is easy. Anyone can grow a spider plant.

Lately I’ve been thinking about the women I might grow old with. I hope that some of the people I’d pick will also pick me; that we will tend the gardens of each other’s lives.

The people we pick. Sometimes, if we are lucky, they have time to ripen into friends.

Michelle is an Integral Coach and consultant based in Portland, OR. Lots more on her website.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash