Notepaper in front of me, great pen in hand, address book on stand by and it’s time. Time to sip think, sip tea and write to friends and family in faraway places.
While email has become part of our daily lives, I’m a little traditional: I still love hand-writing letters.
Living away from family meant as a child I would receive letters and postcards from grandparents, aunties and cousins. Some got as creative as to make jigsaws or write in spirals.
As a teenager I scrawled page upon page of heartfelt messages to friends far and wide. I’d beg my parents for stamps for some, others would be passed to friends in class the next day. When email came along it was inserted in these friendships as well, but the letters continued to flow.
I still have many of the letters I received. Some from great friends, other from people who have now passed away and another lots from friendships that have since faded. Each letter is a time capsule of its own: capturing the emotions and thoughts of a moment in time.
As time has passed, the hours we spent writing as teenagers have been consumed by jobs, children and other life events and the arrival of those handwritten notes in the mailbox is less frequent. For some it’s a once-a-year exchange of Christmas cards, others a birthday message or a note on the birth of a child.
Like most people, my intentions to write letters occur more often than the fact. I keep a list of the people I want to drop a note to, keep track of the letters I need to respond to. Then, often on a Sunday afternoon or late in the evening, I get myself comfortable, dig out my stationery and write.
Yesterday I positioned myself at my desk with a stack of notecards, notepaper and inspiration. Letters to aunties, to university friends, to teenage friends, to new friends. While some of the notes were more inspired and exciting than others, all were filled with love and I know they will give the recipient joy when their mailbox contains more than a bill and junk mail.
Life may get busier, the price of stamps may be on the rise and email may be more convenient, but I’m determined to keep the art of letter writing alive.