In the company of a friend, I noticed she was busy scribbling words down onto paper, nothing unusual with that, except she is not a writer. So I asked her what she was doing? 'I'm writing a letter to my daughter,' she said. Taken aback, I replied, 'don't you text, or send emails?' 'Oh yes,' she replied, 'but at Christmas, when she was home from University, she mentioned, she had never received a letter, so I thought I'd surprise her.' I immediately remembered how special it had been to receive a handwritten letter, and the joy it had brought me.
Our conversation turned to how as girls, we'd written to pen pals in far away lands, and my friend confided how she had written to her parents weekly whilst overseas training to be a nurse, and of the joy and pleasure it gave them, to be able to read her letters to family members. Their letters kept her going, reminding her of family and home. Her mother wrote about what was going on in the village, who was doing what, and how well the vegetable patch was doing, or what she was baking that day. My friend's mother passed away some years ago, and she treasures those letters today.
To my shame, I couldn't remember the last time I'd sent a handwritten letter, cards and notes yes, but not a letter. I'm guessing I'm typical of a lot of people and this makes me sad. Have we lost our love of letter writing? Or is there a chance we can spark a revival? Can you still buy quality writing paper and fountain pens? Who can remember using one? And the distinctive smell of the ink?
Letters are so personal, when written in your own hand, on paper you've chosen, you are revealing something of yourself to the recipient. Its rewarding to receive a letter in the post, there is something intimate about it, and you can keep letters forever, cherishing and re-discovering them in the years to come, re-living the memories held within them. I can't imagine that happening with an email, or a text messages, can you?
If you've ever received a handwritten letter you'll know the pleasure it brings. If not then you're yet to receive that pleasure. Why not write a letter to someone today? It will bring enormous joy and surprise to them, and a sense of satisfaction to you when you put it in the post box, but don't forget to put a stamp on it.