A delightful YouTuber that I watch named Dodie hosted a contest with Canon about pictures and words and their power when combined. I had to pick a picture, write a story to go with it, and post it on Instagram.
Please enjoy said picture above and my musings about ice cream, summer adventures, and my dear dear sunshiny friend named Kelsey below.
Summertime is not defined by the space between dates on a calendar. No, summertime is defined by smiling snapshots complete with shades and ice-cream-sticky fingers, the specifics of those laughs contained only to the photographer and the subject.
My friendship with Kelsey was a new bud by the time I left for my first year of college. A coincidence that landed our families a block away from each other at the beach was woven into late-night mini golf tournaments and races against the crosswalk timer to dip our toes in the sand.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
And just like that the saltwater in my hair and sunrise walks became topknots and midnight study sessions. The walls of my dorm room adorned lovingly with the smiling faces of my friend-family near and far. The photo of Kelsey and I proudly holding up our mini-golf clubs flutters on the string above my bed as the warm spring breeze beckons the end of finals, and the commencement of summer ‘16.
That second summer of our blooming friendship, Kelsey and I basked in the joy of reunion and the ease of sun-in-your-eyes, arm-out-the-window drives to our favorite ice cream place. From our spot under a shady tree, kiddos on a sugar high raced across the open grass, the aroma of fresh air, Maryland crab soup, and creamy delights screamed home.
Friendship, home, and summer.
As the long distance plagued our friendship for the second year, the sunshine of summer radiates from inside Kelsey, and our now 521 day long Snapchat streak exudes joy of walks on the soft grass beneath bare feet even if the bleary white sky of snow makes summer living seem marathons away.
There is something magnificent in a friendship that sparks in summertime. The mild wind blowing through your hair translates into sunny phone calls in the middle of winter. Even on the most frigid of days, when you long for nothing more than home; friendship, home, and summer, a single smile from that summertime friend sends your soul back to better days.
And suddenly, the sun is shining again.
Keep on shining,