‘It’s not so cold out there…maybe we should walk to dinner?’, I say as I look out on our snow-blanketed backyard, and watch Rufus shake off the icy remnants from his coat cuffs.
‘Cold’ and ‘warm’ take on relative meanings when the temperature is hovering perpetually around the -3C to -6C mark. When the -9C levels sweep in, the word cold is of no use and we’re struck breathless by the freezing breeze as we open the front door.
In the relatively balminess of a -3C evening, my husband and I donned double socks, several layers and zipped our coats up as high as they would go. We walked into our local town, enjoying the trudge and the talking while also wondering if the feeling in our fingers would ever return.
There is something about walking to dinner that gives the space and side-by-side time to talk around, and over, and under whatever is on our minds before sitting down with food in front of us. It also comes with the bonus feeling that you’ve earned the meal and are thoroughly deserving of dessert as well as the first course. It started with sunny summer evenings back when snow was a ridiculous idea, but is still a winning date night even when wrapped up to the extent that only one’s eyes are visible.
The physical walk alongside one another pictures and points to the greater reality of our shared, intertwined lives. The privilege of doing life together is big, and I’m grateful for God’s gift of a husband with whom I have a deep friendship through which we enjoy the belly-laugh highs and the tear-marked lows.
But rich, deep and long-lasting friendship is not just for marriage. There is change afoot in our everyday as our church enters a phase of transition, and there’s a burbling anxiety about it that keeps nudging into my thoughts. And then I remember that our everyday is not defined by the structures of our church, or even the day in, day out routines of a child’s life, but is filled with the overflowing reality of people. Friends who are eager to be in it together, to talk it over, and to pray for one another. Friends who are quick to point me to the God is in the thick of it and working out His good.
As I seek to walk alongside as a friend myself, I feel blessed by the privilege and thankful for the riches of ‘one another-ing’ amidst the ups and downs of everyday life. And my gratitude is great for the many friends, geographically scattered, who are eager to keep in step with me as life carries on.