Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Letters - Luxury or Essential?

I used to write long letters - the old-fashioned kind with postage stamps affixed - frequently.
I had cute stationary and fun cards and stickers and photos to include with my newsy letters.

That was back in the day when I went to bed at 10:30 pm and didn't get up till 6 or 7 am. That was back in the day when the only event I had going on for the week was a family outing that was written on the family calendar. That was back in the day when I read books just because I wanted to and not because I couldn't complete the most urgent project without learning this information. That was before I knew how to send an email, and definitely before the days of having 100 emails to reply to in a day.

Going to the mailbox was the highlight of the day. There was almost always a letter waiting there for me, too. It would be full of news, sometimes pictures and newspaper clippings or a tea bag to add to the fun.

These days, I still check the mail box occasionally when I'm home. But usually the only thing addressed to me is junk mail, a catalog, or another bill from the FoMM attorneys... Sometimes I wonder if that means I'm an adult now?

But letters are still ... um, just so deliciously good. I don't really care if it's written on beautiful stationary, or if it's a long newsy email from a friend or cousin who I haven't talked to in a long time. It's just good to hear all about another person's life and loves and battles.

I got one of those yesterday. All nine wonderful pages to be savored and re-read and thought over often... detailing life's struggles and questions, funny anecdotes about people I know that I'm sad to have missed seeing, and a hundred million other things that kept me awake thinking till late last night.

When society is too busy to write letters, we miss out on so much that we don't even know we're missing. A connection with a real human being - a piece of elegant communication to be saved and savored and stuck in a shoe box to be re-read decades down the road.


ASourceOfJoy said...

Good thoughts, Mary. I miss those old girlhood days, too... :hugs:

Rachel said...

Well do I remember the hours I spent composing letters just as you described. I still treasure many of the same I received-especially from friends who are now with the Lord.

Now, I don't take the time to write and mail small novels (!) but I do try to send an occasional card to my friends and family. I gravitate towards humorous ones, especially! It helps me feel like I am still staying in touch.

Jessica said...

So true, Mary. I couldn't help but feel like you described my life so succinctly. I, too, used to go to bed at 10:30 and awaken at 6. I used to write letters and I was the happy recipient of many from you! Thank you for reminding me of the importance of encouraging others through hand written letters and nots. :)

Peachtree said...

Oh for the "Good Ol' Days".

To think that I thought my life was complicated then! :)

Thanks for the post! It's so true, and I treasure all of my shoeboxes full of letters!

It'd be fun to go through them again soon, I know there's some from you in there too!