“A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

A friend isn’t born in an instant, much like a tree doesn’t sprout fully formed from the earth. Both require time, nurturing, and the tender touches of life’s seasons to grow. From a seed, a tree arises, shedding leaves, withstanding storms, standing tall and proud. Similarly, a friendship grows from a shared smile, a common bond, the stitches of laughter, and the threads of shared sorrows. It survives the harshest winters of conflict and blooms in the springs of joy.

In nature’s grand orchestra, a friend is the melody that resonates, the harmony that complements, the rhythm that drives us forward. A friend is the sunrise that paints the sky at dawn, promising a day full of potential—yet also the moon that cradles our darkest nights, a beacon in our loneliness.

A friend is the epitome of nature’s artistry—the convergence of strength and vulnerability, persistence and adaptability. As the river carves its path, as the butterfly emerges from its chrysalis—a friend teaches us resilience, change, and the beauty of becoming.

A friend’s love is like the roots of an old oak tree—reaching deep, providing a secure anchorage. It’s like a blooming wildflower in a crack of the concrete—a testament to resilience, a burst of color in a grey world.

A friend is a labyrinth of shared experiences—braided emotions, laughter, and tears—all woven into a beautiful tapestry of human connection. It is the profound beauty of a mountain vista, the gentle murmur of a forest brook, the fierce blaze of a sunset. It’s all of nature’s wonders, embodied in the heart of another.

In the end, gratitude washes over me—like a gentle summer rain, soaking my soul with thankfulness. For my beautiful wife. For my lovely family. For my cherished and loyal friends. I’m thankful for all the little things we share. Especially the little things, actually. They are what make up our everydays and I love spending them together.

My heart is a wellspring of appreciation, for it knows the value of these masterpieces that have been bestowed upon me.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.