“Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing, baby…”
Yesterday when I arrived home, I received a postcard in the mail.
Not only was it incredible hearing from one of my dear friends currently living in Tanzania, East Africa, but I cannot adequately express what it meant to see and feel a handwritten postcard that she had taken the time and care to craft, decorate, and mail across the miles. It would have been marvelous to hear from her via email — certainly — but I have to admit that her postcard sent me over the moon. “Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing, baby…”
It’s now front and center on my fridge — one of those small, tangible, yet incredibly powerful gifts that technology will never replace. There was something about seeing her handwriting, tracing the glorious smudge marks that had tested the distance…surely speed and efficiency do not always rule the day.
And so her gift harbored yet another gift — an idea.
As I try to incorporate balance in my life on so many fronts, I do not want to neglect the power of the written word by hand, and I also want to write letters, notes, and cards more than for birthdays and holidays. I want to let those I love know that I love them on the plain ol’ days. And so I pledge to make time to write AWAY from the screen as well, scribbly script and all…
Tait’s postcard also made me think about my sweet kids at school. How often to they send and receive personal mail? postcards?
Maybe there’s a place for a new club this year at school…something about resurrecting handwritten letters and remembering their importance, too. Maybe we’ll write once a month and listen to soft music as we decorate stationary and craft a note. Maybe we’ll compose letters to grandparents, friends, cousins, soldiers, parents, and the unexpected recipients, just to say hello. Just to let time and space carry the joy from one hand and heart to the other.
It will not be instantaneous communication, but it will make us wait and wonder and share a beautiful surprise.