The Nature of Friendship

Maryjo Koch is an artist who adores nature, and sees the beauty of friendship played out around the world. In her introduction she celebrates the honeybees and bumblebees, where the elder bees in a colony care for the younger ones. It is these types of observations and similarities that makes her book so heartfelt and meaningful. Friendships are all around us, and supporting each other through the basic ups and downs of life are the key to thriving.

The Nature of Friendship This small hardcover book is the type you tuck into a basket of flowers, or in with a few fresh zucchini from your garden when you give them to a friend. It is a token to say "I care about you - thank you for being there for me." Every page offers a succinct observation on friendship, accompanied by a beautiful artwork.

For example you muse on "A true friend overlooks your thorns to admire your flowers." The facing image is a multicolored wild rose - orange, red, yellow. It has thorns, yes, but the friend glories in the radiant hues.

The sayings are incredibly powerful and even meditative. One page reminds you "a friend is someone you want to be around when you feel like being alone". The image is a pair of butterflies softly resting on a purple flower. What a moving image, and a crystal clear expression of what friendship is all about.

I love every page in this book - each one is about a different aspect of friendship, pairing the knowledge with an inspiring vision. One page reminds us "good friends help us see things from a new perspective." That is so true. My best friends are the ones who help me see issues from all sides, who provide a "counterpoint", who broaden my horizons. The image accompanying this is a group of butterfly's wings - each with a false "eye spot" on them. The multiple meanings here are simply wonderful.

As if all of this were not enough, the back of the book has a description of each animal featured in the book, talking about the nature of its social group. Maryjo talks about how clown fish and anemones - quite different creatures - live in perfect symbiotic harmony on the sea floor. I enjoyed reading the back-page notes as much as I did the quotes on friendship!

Highly, highly recommended. I can open this book to any page and feel inspired by reading the words there, and know they are very resonant with what this world needs. I would definitely get a copy of this book for each of my friends - but I'll be sure to keep a copy for myself!

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