Write a letter
Growing up, I had no less than six penpals at a time. My parents attended a yearly Christian conference each summer, and I amassed friends all over the country. We’d dutifully exchange addresses and write letters to stay in touch until the next conference. I still keep in touch with one of my first penpals today (Hi, Bessers!). But it’s been at least a decade since I’ve written a letter. I mean a real letter, on stationary with run on sentences and lengthy paragraphs about life.
So what happened to the letter writing? For me, it wasn’t the busyness of marriage or childrearing. It was the internet. And email. And text messaging. And instant messaging. And Facebook. And blogging. And while I find I have 4oo plus friends online, and I’m so very thankful for Facebook and the ability to see up-to-date pictures of family and friends all over the globe, the quality of communicating, the level to which we share our hearts with each other, isn’t anywhere near as dear and personal as the letter.
I miss letters. I miss pulling a pretty envelope out of my mailbox and seeing the unique handwriting of someone dear to me. I miss catching a whiff of their perfume the paper caught as they drug their wrist across the lines. I miss hand-drawn smiley faces and little tokens of recent activities tucked inside the envelope. I miss those personal, often diary-like confessions.
I once attended a seminar at a scrapbooking conference, no less, regarding letters. Letters play such a huge part of our history and heritage. They give us glimpses into daily life, and letters have such longevity – much more so than a text, chat, Facebook post, or an email. My family has letters that our ancestors wrote home while serving in the Civil War. Talk about longevity!
And so, I picked up a pen and a pretty piece of paper and wrote a letter. And another, and another. I realized letter writing is a catharsis for me. With each stroke of my pen, I felt a bit of release for my tired, dreary soul through the tips of my fingers. My hope is that the recipients might find a bit of winter sunshine as they tear open an envelope and soak in words meant to encourage and express my love.
Oh, and if you write me a letter, I will write back. Just ask my husband. That’s how our whole relationship got started!