I have been cleaning out the attic and the closets and drawers recently, and have come upon many, many letters written to me by my wonderful friend, Marianne. I met her when I was seventeen, and we have kept up for all these years, (admittedly more and more intermittently,) through our school years, our weddings, our new babies, and our children's growing and growing-up years. When we first became friends, we had to maintain contact through writing letters. Except for the rare quick phone call overseas, it was the only way to stay in touch. Now we have the internet, and I tend to fire off letters to her by email, because it is quick and easy and that seems to be the only way to make time for letter-writing in my life right now. I love email, but it doesn't compare to a real letter, like the kind she sends. She is a beautiful writer, with beautiful hand-writing. She sits down at a desk and takes her time, and I can feel the thought and time and love which go into her letters.
My heart leaps whenever I see a personal letter in my little brass mailbox. I toss aside all the bills and circulars looking for this "good" mail, the only kind I really want to see. Then I slide my finger under the gummed flap, and pull out the letter with a little crackle. I unfold it, and I settle down someplace comfortable to read through those loops and dots and flourishes which say so much about her. She makes time for me and for maintaining our friendship, and that's what a handwritten letter is all about.
My daughter, who is from the email generation, also has some friends she exchanges hand-written letters with. She even spends time making special postcards using watercolor and collage. Do you have a correspondence like this with anyone? When was the last time you took the time to write a real letter?
Maureen at Twig and Toadstool is pairing children of her readers with penpals right now. If you want to participate, visit her at http://twigandtoadstool.blogspot.com/ or click on the title of this post. Yesterday she posted about making her daughter a special letter writing kit! Go see!