It regularly occurs three times a week. Just about every week. Always in the same place. Same time. Come rain, snow, or sunshine.
What is it? It’s a one-hour – give or take a few minutes – early morning walk outside.
If you’re a long-time reader of my blog, you may remember that I have three life-long friends – dear-to-me ladies that I have been friends with for well over 50 years although I lived hundreds and even thousands of miles away from them for many of those years.
I count myself extremely blessed to have friends like these. These confidantes are women I trust completely, ones I can share anything at all with and know it’s held in complete confidence.
I live closer to them now, but only one of the three resides in my neck of the woods.
So I talk via cell phone until my battery goes dead with my good friend Leigh (not her real name) every few weeks.
I meet occasionally for several hours-long lunches every few months with my close friend Anne (also not her real name).
And a couple of years ago, my life-long friend, May, (yes, there’s a pattern here) actually moved into her parents’ former home which is located less than a mile away from my house.
Since that time, the two of us embarked on a plan.
Last fall, May and I decided to take walks together. We decided that we’re not getting any younger, so we needed to begin some kind of wellness/fitness program that was simple and easy for us to do. And since both of us are semi-retired, our days include a little more free time now to accomplish our plan.
So we convinced one another to start walking. We began slowly, not over-doing it with distance or pace. Eventually, we extended our walks to cover more distance and we plan to increase that again soon.
Three early mornings a week, every week, we stagger out of bed, meet up, and commence our walks in a safe, quiet area where there are smooth sidewalks and very little traffic.
If it’s raining, we brandish our umbrellas against the rain drops and wear rain ponchos unless it’s storming with lightning and thunder.
If it’s snowing or cold, we just bundle up to look like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow man with hats on our heads and gloves on our hands.
If it’s hot and steamy with humidity, we arise earlier in the morning to beat the heat.
But our morning walks don’t just do our physical bodies good. Our walks do good for all aspects of our lives. Because we don’t just walk.
We talk. We talk without stopping. We talk the entire time we walk. Often we walk as fast as we talk (and that’s fairly fast most of the time).
“The true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking. The walking is good to time the movement of the tongue by, and to keep the blood and the brain stirred up and active; the scenery and the woodsy smells are good to bear in upon a man an unconscious and unobtrusive charm and solace to eye and soul and sense; but the supreme pleasure comes from the talk.” ~ Mark Twain
What do we talk about? Everything. Our discussion agenda never withers as we don’t seem to run out of things to converse about.
We share aspects of our lives that we wouldn’t divulge to others. We solve all the problems of this world in our discussions. We tell funny stories. We recall sad ones. We chat about life, family, work experiences, recollections from the past, entertainment, you name it.
We encourage one another, applaud one another, and yes, sometimes we gripe to each other about stuff that ticks us off. May was my very first best friend and in 59 years of friendship, neither one of us can name one instance where we were angry with each other or exchanged heated words.
Friendships like ours which endure a long time are rare indeed, I think. I am blessed to have such a friendship with such a loyal friend. And I’m blessed to spend time with her on our early morning walks.
Three times a week. Every week. Come rain or come shine.
“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” ~ Henry David Thoreau