I missed this group of women who gather to write for the pure joy of it every Friday. Virtual friends I guess you could say. And today we are writing on a word near and dear to my heart, one that carries weight…
Everyone has that one summer that changed everything. You know the one I’m talking about. The kind that made you so tired you were delirious but you didn’t care because laughter-induced sore ribs made it all worthwhile. The kind with campfires and off key tunes and strangers that became friends. The kind with romance and sunsets and the great outdoors. The kind that goes down in infamy because it can never be topped or replaced.
The kind that changes your life like the summer of 2009 changed mine.
I’ll never forget that first parking lot encounter. A gaggle of us gathered, silently sizing up every stranger. At first glance, I wondered how in the world I would connect with these people. Did we have anything in common? We went around the circle and shared awkward introductions that I forgot five seconds later. But over the course of the summer, I learned not only their first names, but their middle names, their strengths and weakness, preferences and passions. I learned what it looks like when strangers bound by the same God spend every hour for two months together and become family.
I stood in my roommate’s wedding, celebrated engagements and babies from a distance. I’ve supported one sharing the love of our Savior on the World Race. And I’ve learned that one summer of forging friendships made eternal relationships. We’ll all live next to one another on a block in heaven some day, a continuation of two months spent learning to love one another in the Colorado Rockies. Until then, I treasure these friends from a distance made shorter by technology.