Yeah, you're right.
I could quote Friedrich Nietzsche, but that would be too easy, wouldn't it?
After all, "That which does not kill me makes me stronger" has been done before.
There. I've said it anyway.
And since you've asked, I imagine friendship like a garden, a flower garden to be specific.
In my own flower garden, the perennial flowers sprout each spring. They push through the earth, grow under the nourishment of sun and rain, then bloom in such glorious colours you wonder how Mother Nature could make anything so spectacularly beautiful.
In watching the flowers bloom year after year, I began to notice that not every type of flower bloomed in its full glory each spring, mid-summer, or fall. And I couldn't predict which species would "show" and which would not. They seem to hold back, to retreat unto themselves, as if saving energy, storing it for future use. Other years, these same flowers would grow taller, flowers bloom with petals bursting with colour.
I became fascinated by this and you've just reminded me that a flower's behaviour is similar to that of my girl friends.
We are always growing, nurtured by the stability of the ground beneath us. And as we pass through stages of life, from seedling to maturity, we search out our way sometimes being caught by surprise by frost that cuts at our root, severs us in some way from the firm and steady ground that we are used to. It unsettles us and we our growth is stunted. As we shrink, leaving behind us dead and dying stalk.
In natures infinite wisdom, the resulting rot provides nutrients to the earth and in turn provides essential nutrients to the plants beneath it.
After a season of tremendous difficulty, in the next growing year we may grow in a slightly different direction. With a bent to our stems, we search for the sun as it moves through the April and September skies, we understand that the rough elements was, in fact, necessary to our continued growth for it allows us to look in another direction.
Without the occurrence of frost, we become too focussed on the light just as flowers respond to the sun, we shoot straight up towards the light sometimes blinded by its intensity, but surely unable to look past it,
We can call this the growing season, but even at times when not much seems to be changing on the outside, great things are always happening on the inside.