Beloved, lasting childhood friendships are so like gardens–ever changing and yet perfectly formed, perennial, colorful,  mysterious, moody at times, vulnerable to the whims of nature, made of the stuff of giants, and a gift in all seasons, no matter the weather. And above all,  evocative of such a conglomeration of memories fitted randomly together, of places, of moods, of the times–some very physical, others intensely sensory. The Grand Canyon, Angel’s Landing, the MOMA, a restaurant in the Village, woodland paths along the ridge behind our houses, the Washington Zoo, the Iwo Jima monument, my wedding gown on the loveliest person imaginable, anxiety over history exams, math classes, pajama parties, school dances.


Memories so intense they feel as if they were moments floating right nearby that I could reach out and grasp, and some that feel distantly out of reach, tucked into the deepest recesses of memory. East Lancing, Michigan, a trip to Vermont and back to Long Island–Montana driven,  a last visit to our hometown and the old homestead to say good-bye and a long walk there like old times, a summer rental on Cape Cod, and one in the Poconos, a spectacular river and dam–all dry–south of Flagstaff– all shared times but at the same time always such renewals.  We have grown so independently and yet so surprisingly toward each other. It’s like returning to what we knew and loved, but what has so changed and is yet ever so constant within us.

And yet nothing changes between us.  What keeps this friendship alive may or may not be memory, may or may not be long time lapses or great distance, may or may not be complete acceptance of one another, regardless of our different life styles, interests, tastes, or point of views–these hardly count–but is always the constants within us. So much changes us over the years but it is what remains unchanged that binds us together. Not that words will ever do it justice.


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