I am struck as I get older by the nature of friendships – how you make them, who they are, how long they stay around.
As a child your friendships are formed from the children in your neighborhood – who lives across the street, down the block or one street over. Those are the children who are around to play with on long summer days.
As you get older and your horizons broaden, your friendships are formed by the people around you. Those children from the neighborhood might still be friends in school but they might drift away and find other friends. And so might you.
Once you leave school how you find friends changes. You might make friends at work. Or from organizations that you belong to. Or through church. Or from some other commonly defined need.
However you make friends they are all valuable. Most treasured, perhaps, are those that stay with you throughout your lifetime. But no less valuable are those people who come into your life at various stages and provide you with the nourishment and comfort you need to see you through that particular phase.
I’ve relocated several times during the summer months. It’s always a difficult time to make friends. People’s routines are different so they aren’t as eager to include a new person in their lives.
But I’ve always been able to make new friends with books.
I still remember some of my favorite books from childhood. Can anyone say The Poky Little Puppy? Who knows if it was actually my book or one of my sisters’. All I know is that I read it regularly and still love it.
The Little House books, Bobbsey Twins, The Last Convertible (read at the beginning of a college semester when I should have been studying but couldn’t put it down), Barbara Kingsolver, Diana Gabaldon (another series of books I can’t put down once I’ve started them) – all came into my life and filled spaces that stay with me today. Whenever I run across them I stop and give them an extra pat and think, however briefly, of that time in my life that I connect with them.
Maybe your friends are out of town this summer but the Library is here for you – and we have a whole building full of new friends just waiting to make your acquaintance.