I used to keep every letter and card that I ever received from family or a good friend. We moved often when I was growing up, and I somehow managed to keep that collection. Sadly, that stash is no where to be found; at some point in my adult life I decided to toss them, I suppose. Well, that’s not entirely true; when my grandmother, Lita, passed away years ago I came into possession of some letters I had sent her up until I was about 14. I looked through them not long ago and while my topics were pretty mundane (dentist visits, school projects, books I read), she kept them for decades and through many moves. They meant something to her.
Every now and again I do get a card in the mail, but the only letters I ever get (that are not marketing pieces mane to LOOK like a letter) are the occasional Holiday letter from a friend.
Maybe I have been listening to too much Jane Austen on audible (on my third book now!) but it seems to me that the practice of letter writing is needed right now more than ever. I know it’s old fashioned, it’s slower than dashing out a text with abbreviate text, or just cutting out the letters entirely and sending a meme or an emoji. It’s practically outdated by the time the letter is received DAYS instead of seconds after it’s written. Really, there’s no good reason to write a letter.
Taking the time to hand-write a letter says, “You matter.” It says that for 5 minutes or an hour or however long it took you to write the letter, you were thinking of nothing else. You gave the gift of your attention and time to this person and no one else. You reached out in an in a truly personal and private way.
And think about the last time you received a letter. Was it even in this century? I don’t think I have. But I do remember when my sister and I used to write pretty often, and seeing the envelope in the mailbox instantly made me smile…I didn’t even have to open it to start feeling connection and joy and gratitude. That’s part of the magic.
So this year I’m making a commitment to give myself time to write to my family first, and friends. I’m going to gather (and make) cards and stationery and envelopes, and I’m going to buy some stamps. A lot of pretty stamps. I’ll be in the studio on the 3rd Saturday of the month (so Jan 16) and I’ll have coffee and tea ready at 10am. The studio light is lovely at that time, just right to settle in for an hour. Will you join me? I’ll even stop by the post office that afternoon and drop our letters and cards off.
Because of COVID precautions I can only seat 6 around the tables to keep our distance. If you would like to stop by, click here to register.
Welcome to the Best Intentions Letter and Card Writing Club.