I love getting letters in the mail. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but it pretty much makes my day when it does happen. Many of the women with whom I used to write letters back and forth are now gone. I miss receiving their newsy notes in their own unique handwriting. I remember one of my grandmas often claiming that she was “tickled pink” to receive my letter. Who is ever tickled pink anymore?
In this world of constant communication, I sometimes marvel at how little is truly being said. It’s mostly just noise. It’s like around-the-clock information with very little true communication. It’s mind-numbingly overwhelming for me. At the risk of sound of Grinchy, it’s noise, noise, noise, noise, NOISE!!!
One of the things I like about letters is that they’re almost always a nice surprise. Most surprises in life are things like flat tires, broken furnaces, pink slips and spilled milk. It’s refreshing to have a pleasant surprise from time to time.
Another thing I like about getting letters in the mail is that they are quiet. Letters don’t ring, ding, beep or tweet. They’re usually not flashing or blinking either (though I have had confetti fall out of a few). They’re just quiet reminders of someone who loves me. Their silent simplicity ushers me into a time of remembrance of, appreciation for and true communication with the writer.
In our hurry-up-and-go-because-I’ve-gotta-be-somewhere-important society, a handwritten letter is a sort of tribute to a relationship that someone thinks is worth slowing down to celebrate. It’s just a reminder that someone somewhere is thinking of me and willing to sacrifice a few precious minutes and a stamp to let me know.
I don’t write as many letters as I used to. Postage is expensive, uninterrupted time in my home is a bit of novelty and I’ve kind of swapped letter-writing for the shorter, quicker version of mailing cards. There’s certainly nothing wrong with mailing cards, but cards are not quite as therapeutic for me as sitting down to write a real letter to a faraway friend and (ideally) anticipating its response. Somehow, those little writing sessions are nice little time-outs for me that renew my perspective and increase my joy.
I think I might need a time-out today.
Challenge: Write a letter to someone who would be tickled pink to receive it.