The Lost Joy of a Letter

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.  ~Phyllis Theroux

The other day I received a letter from a good friend.  I pulled the envelope out from my large stack of bills and catalogs, and immediately found myself doing a mental scan.  Did she owe me money?  Had I sent one of her kids a recent birthday gift? There must be a reason behind her letter, because who writes a letter these days just to say hello?  What a pleasant surprise to learn that she had done just that.  Her note reflected on a great weekend our families spent together this summer at  their adorable beach shack in Connecticut which sits just 50 yards from the ocean, if that.  Like an entry in a high school yearbook, she listed off a few specifics from our visit, and instantly fond  summer memories came rushing back.  Her letter ended with speculation about the upcoming ski season, and hopes that we will enjoy some fun times in the snow this year together.

Letters like this have become a thing of the past and I find that so sad.   I typically write letters when it feels like a chore, usually to thank someone.  We debate with ourselves whether an email could suffice instead, and find ourselves relieved if we can answer yes.  Yet when we do receive those occasional notes, we feel touched and appreciated in a much more personal way.  Seeing another person’s handwriting on the paper immediately establishes a more personal connection than technology will ever provide.

Thank you, K  for taking the time to bask in the special friendship our families share for just a few minutes, and putting pen to paper.  Thank you for making me re-think the joy of a letter and how easily I could perhaps make someone else’s day.




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