! from hearts to hands: Letter Writing ~ A Lost Art
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." ~ Leo Buscaglia

January 13, 2010

Letter Writing ~ A Lost Art

illustration: Letter Writing by 19th century Swedish artist Carl Larsson

When is the last time you either wrote or received a handwritten letter? For me it was a note written on the inside of a Christmas card from a dear friend who’s recently purchased a farm in Virginia. As I read, I could hear him speaking aloud, and I realized just how much I miss hearing his laughter, seeing his contagious smile all as he’d simultaneously dance a little jig for something that brightened his day that day.

It wasn’t until I received that note, that I realized just how long it’s been since I’ve handwritten a letter to either family or friends. Sure there are the random emails, or the infrequent text messages, but they are brief and quickly forgotten as I rush about my day. Reading a typed message somehow lacks the personality of a handwritten letter.

Earlier this week, I connected with Kathleen, a childhood friend, who moved to Utah twenty or so years ago to start her adult life full of jobs, volunteering, a husband and his children. As the years passed, we seemed to lose touch. Through the magic of Facebook, I discovered that she’s still very alive and well and already we’ve exchanged several emails as I still remember the letters we once exchanged. Hers always written in the smallest and neatest handwriting, fitting so much into such tiny little note card, while my larger, more flamboyant handwriting filled pages and pages in response.

It’s as I remember those letters, that I recall my anticipation as I checked my mailbox for ‘fun’ mail. When one arrived, I loved finding a quiet place where I could sit and leisurely catch up on what’s been happening, delighting over a new picture, a small doodle, or even a recipe, and afterward thinking about what I wanted to share in return. Tucked away I have a small box of treasured letters I’ve received since I was a little girl. When I find myself missing someone, like my Dad or Grandma who have both passed away, it brings me great comfort to still have that connection.

Writing letters is a way to connect with the loved ones around us, and it feels like that connection has been lost in this modern world we live in. I, for one, am not going to let the letter writing become a lost art. If anyone out there would like to write a letter and doesn’t have anyone to send one to, please let me extend an invitation. I would be thrilled to receive a letter from you.

Join me?

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