It's taken a few years, but I'm beginning to recognize the different personalities of all our Torot (my synagogue owns seven in regular use, and a few others suitable only for Simhat Torah dancing). I recently learned that we have a "summer Torah," the snowbird sefer of the bunch, spiritually in Florida for the rest of the year but eager to serve from July through Labor Day. It (she) could be mistaken for our newest Torah, both sharing cherry wood Atzei Hayyim, crisp, white parchment, and stately calligraphy. But the yad tracks in this scroll, like a network of laugh lines visible only when you look deeply into someone's eyes and are suddenly aware that they've been around the block a few times, but with great humor, are faint and numerous, like a spider web or safety net outlining the tops of letters. They were all over Parashat Mattot, proof that other nervous people had pressed down a little too hard for about a hundred years in order to stay focused and perhaps distract themselves from the scrutiny of the cantor sitting a few feet away.
I'm getting to know this Torah in fleeting moments separated by a week or two, like the story I heard many times about stolen kisses behind the synagogue between my aunt and uncle, right before he was about to stand at the bimah for his Bar Mitzvah and she was just 12 years old. They were together for about 70 years after that. That's how I sometimes feel in front of this big, friendly, summer Torah, knowing that a lifelong relationship is ahead of us.