There was a book written about a man that wrote a letter to his wife each day he was away from home. These letters weren’t about the weather or about the city he happened to find himself, but letters of depth…what he felt about social and political events happening in the world at the time and what he felt about everything in general. He didn’t send the letters to his wife, instead he made a book including each one from previous year and gave it to her on each birthday.
It got me thinking about the life I have spent with my husband. As our 16th wedding anniversary approaches, I think, did we enjoy these past years enough? I believe I have saved every card he’s given me…but really, we have forgotten so much about who we used to be. It is difficult to remember Anything in detail. It almost seems as if we just got married because I can only remember how we are now. What if I had written a letter everyday I was away from him? There would have been hundreds, but would they have been about anything more than the mundane? Maybe…I did grow up without computers and cellphones. In my twenties when I moved far away from my friends, I wrote three page letters about what I was doing and how things were…my feelings or how homesick I felt.
When you write a letter by hand, a piece of you can’t help but end up on that paper. Something that can be felt across time…the old feelings come to life. They are worth saving and reading more than once. There is a delight when we accidently come upon handwritten letters. We read them again and relive a moment that we had all but forgotten. We can even sense the exact moment in the past we received it. Just like a journal page you share with only one special person.
They become the portals through a person’s life, the doorway to remembering how far we’ve come, who we loved and what it felt like to live the adventure of our past. I’m challenging myself to step away from the text or email when I want to say something important to someone I care about. We can never go back to the low tech days…not totally, but we can use letter writing to pause for a moment and reflect. Because, if nothing else, to receive something handwritten, sent through snail mail is a joy all its own. Someone out there thinks you are special, special enough to sit and reflect on you and what you mean to them. That letter would become your legacy long after you leave your human form. You will have made a lost art alive once again.