School is here. Summer is gone. In the opening lines of Walking On Water Madeleine L’Engle reflects, “…But there is still a pattern to the summers which I hope will never change, a lovely kaleidescope of family and friends coming and going.” This one saw a lot of loved ones coming and going, bed linen laundering, late night grocery runs and BBQs. I’ve often heard it said that a good friendship is marked by how easily you pick up where you left off. But I think that’s a misnomer. You never pick up just where you left off. There is a comforting sense of the familiar, the inside jokes, the wash of good memories. And with each visit, with each day at the beach, each meal prepared together, you build on that. There’s a juxtaposing bittersweet-ness that comes with the knowledge that we will be tied by the the past and this moment and the intention of the future, but not in the everyday. Next summer I will love as deeply, but perhaps may feel a little less understood. A give and take. The daily grind changes us, but our summer friendships ground us. They remind us who we are, where we’ve come from, and what we’ve made it through. It’s fitting that I actually discovered L’Engle’s book this summer. It was a last minute grab from a secondhand bookstore in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, on a trip to Sandpoint with Candace and Mike, Connor and Katie. Our 14-year friendship has known mostly only comings and goings, snatches of late-night conversations and early breakfasts book-ended by long highway drives. Now they are embarking on a new adventure and the landscape of our coming together will change – we’ll need to be even more intentional. The beauty of the kaleidoscope is that though it is constantly changing, it is constant.