“A letter is a blessing, a great and all-too-rare privilege that can turn a private moment into an exalted experience.” – Alexandra Stoddard
How long has it been since you have received the Gift of a Letter ? And, how long has it been since you have written a letter? My answer to both questions would be – too long. While technology is a marvelous tool, it does not have the intimacy of a beautiful handwritten letter. A handwritten letter says, “You matter to me,” and is an enduring source of beauty. It is a gift of your time and affection.
In previous centuries, most letters were written out of necessity. Through these letters, business was conducted, sympathies were conveyed, friendships were nourished and family ties were maintained – despite separations due to distance and war. During such times, letters were a great source of comfort and a sense of connection to one another. Lives lived through letters. And, before many people had the means to travel, letters provided information about distant lands.
Letters can also become treasured keepsakes. I have stacks of letters from my dear mom. She wrote to me almost every day the many years we lived in Virginia. Mostly, they were a note she would write while enjoying her morning coffee. Things such as: “Honey, you would love it here this morning, it is snowing.” Or, “Oh, I wish you were here, the spirea and the rhododendron are magnificent.” One special letter held a beautiful maple leaf. Mom knew the fall of the year was always a difficult time for me, because fall in coastal Virginia is not brilliant with color, as is the state of West Virginia. The tree which produced the beautiful leaf, the house the tree sheltered, and my precious mom are all now gone. But her letters and the beautiful leaf are among my most treasured possessions.
Letters can also answer questions and tell about lives of those related to us, but perhaps never really knew. I recently read an article by Brendan Mathews, about his paternal grandparents. He received a box of letters from a cousin and for him, it was like opening a “treasure chest.” Reading the letters exchanged between his grandparents during World Ward II, he gained information about their lives and love for each other he never knew. And, had the letters been tossed, he never would have known. visit here
In our increasingly mechanical and impersonal world, now more than ever, the handwritten note or letter is of great significance. Something as simple as a handwritten invitation, thank-you note, or a note to say hello is a sincere statement of thoughtfulness, love and affection. John Donne said, “More than kisses, letters mingle souls.” I know his words to be true, and if you have been the recipient of sweet letters, then you do also. So, the next time you are out and about, purchase some lovely note cards or writing paper, cheerful stamps and a pen that writes well. Write to your friends and family. Your notes and letters could mean far more than you know, and they just may become treasured keepsakes. In closing, I can think of no better way to say ‘au revoire’ than with the words of Emily Dickinson, “My letter as a bee, goes laden. Please love us and remember us. Please write us very soon, and tell us how you are.”
Do write to me, I love to read your comments.
Thanks for visiting, and have a wonderful day !
Notes: Brendan Mathews is the author of The World of Tomorrow, named as Editors Choice by the New York Times Book Review.
Gift of a Letter, a book by Alexandra Stoddard
Photos: Michael S. Lambiotte and Pinterest