For over three years now, Rita and I have taken long walks in the woods. From our first walk, I knew I was with a kindred spirit and beautiful friend. Rita is so much more than family, she is an honest, loving companion who shares my journey at the deepest level. Our honest communion and true love for one another make a walk with her so much more than just a walk. It’s great exercise in beautiful surroundings, but sharing honestly and with love is the most important quality of those early morning excursions by the creek. As we walk and talk, I feel a connection that is rare, but possible, in this world.
Friends who hear my heart are my most valuable assets. They allow the transparency necessary to open my heart. It’s more than just a matter of confidentiality, it is true connection at the heart level that allows me to find the courage to be myself. It’s friendship that doesn’t judge or advise, just loves and listens. I’m a very wealthy woman when it comes to friends because I have several such friends who love, listen, hear my heart, and get me. The thing that sets Rita apart is the amount of time we spend together. Some weeks, we spend as much as eight hours walking and talking in the woods. Time is a precious commodity, and retirement gives both of us the luxury of having time to spend together. We also exercise together two additional nights and share a beautiful family.
Each time I see Rita, I delight in her! That’s what makes our friendship so special and our walks more than just walks. I don’t care if we’ve seen each other every day for a week or haven’t seen one another in two weeks, I have the same reaction. Delighting in one another is what God desires, and it makes life more than just a life. It makes a walk a sweet journey and helps me live a life, as Pastor John says, worth living forever:)
Rita and I are often apart as travel and winter cause gaps in our time spent together. When we reconnect, we just pick right up where we left off as though no time has passed. That’s self-differentiation at its best, and I love that most about our relationship. We are who we are and enjoy our time together. There is a natural flow to both our walks and our friendship. She has a very big heart and welcomed me right into it the very first time we met. She does that to a lot of folks, and I was saddened when she lost one of those dear friends recently. She loves with her whole heart, and so do I. I thank God for placing her in my path and don’t take a single step we take together for granted. Thanks to friends like Rita, I get to walk in God’s kingdom now and enjoy fellowship like that above:)