There are people in our lives with whom we literally walk through life at our sides. Some stand out in my history:
In college, Bill was my very first friend (and the person ultimately responsible for introducing me to Terry). In one's freshman year of college, one spends a good deal of time walking around campus, figuring things out, checking out the surroundings. Bill was the one who I did all of these with. Bill is tall -- over six feet -- and walks fast and with a long stride. I have never been one to lollygag, but when I walked with him, I had to practically run to keep up at times.
Terry on the other hand, while almost as tall, walks slowly. He knows he'll get where he's going, so why rush it? It was he who would slow me down.
Fifteen years ago, my dad and I stood at the back of a church getting ready to make a most important walk. "Stepping off on Hullabaloo?" he said (referencing his Aggie Corps history). He took my white-lace covered arm into his tuxedoed one and we made that monumental walk, where he easily gave me over to join with Terry in marriage. That walk down the aisle was different, yet similar to those times we walked hand in hand or arm in arm as I was growing up.
Years later, I would walk with my children. With Amanda, my firstborn, I had to learn patience as even a simple walk from the house to the car was likely to be filled with delays, as she hopped through the backyard, stopping to point out a lizard, pausing to observe a blade of grass pushing through a crack in the cement, or to tell me a story.
Kyle is equally curious, but he walks fast. In fact, he doesn't usually walk at all -- he runs. As his companion, I have to guide him when he should slow down, but sometimes I can run right along side him.
It's all about matching strides. Some people will hurry us along, and we will hurry others along. Others will give us the gift of slowing down and seeing the world in a new light.