I love the rebelliousness of snail mail, and I love anything that can arrive with a postage stamp. There’s something special about a person’s breath and hands on the letter.Diane Lane
I’m of the generation of Jacqueline Kennedy, tea parties, and handwritten thank you notes. As a little girl, my mother sat me at the kitchen table with a notecard and pen, and I wasn’t allowed to get up until I had crafted a thank you note—free from errors, of course—to Aunt Nikki for my $20 birthday check. It felt like a “don’t get up from the table until you have eaten all your vegetables” mom-instruction.
That childhood chore has become one of my favorite adult affinities. Naturally, I am also obsessed with all styles of notecards now. I have cards in droves—some dripping with snarky sentiments, others elegantly letterpressed, and still more that I have handcrafted with my Cricut machine. I just love the art of the letter!
Just recently, I was going through old boxes in the garage, and I found letters that my BFF’s mother (now deceased) had written to me. She was like a mother to me, and her kids are like the brothers and sisters I never had. It was so heartwarming to read her day’s events, what she cooked for dinner that night, and hear her voice through her beautiful penmanship. It was especially poignant to share her letters with her family; we all laughed and cried together. Her letters are now treasured heirlooms between us, more sacred in some ways than photos.
For me, there’s something tremendously soothing and rewarding about writing a letter. I relish the act of selecting the perfect card to connect with the moment and recipient I have in mind. It’s almost sacred to take in the crisp clean canvas awaiting penstrokes, the tender transference of thought to paper, even choosing the perfect stamp and making the trip to the Post Office with a “secret” surprise on the seat next to me. And in a week, an anticipated call comes from the recipient to brighten my day. It all comes full circle.
Letters are truly a lost art form. Yet, they are perfect vehicles for making friends and family feel known, remembered, and embraced. In today’s digital age, a handwritten letter is even more personal than it was when I was a child drafting one at the kitchen table. A handwritten note conveys that we care, that we took time out of our day to reach out in a special way. In the end, notes and letters are gifts that endure with age, unlike digital transmissions that are lost in time and space.
Let’s all take a moment this week and thoughtfully select someone to send a note or letter to. Drop me a comment about your experience of writing the letter. Write On!