Thursday, July 15, 2010

Snail mail

Communicating quickly and easily is nice.

E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, voicemail. All have made this possible and we have instant communication. From official notices, to electronic bills, to one-line messages from someone we haven't heard from in years: all come to us with a mouse-click or pressing a "send" button.

Does anyone besides me miss snail mail?

Not the "occupant" variety. Heaven knows, I get plenty of those. They fill my recycle bin to overflowing.

I'm talking about opening your mailbox and delighting in finding a hand-written envelope with your name written on it, bearing news from a loved one, inside a card or letter.

My cousin, Hanne, from Denmark, and I still correspond in this way.

Sure, we both use e-mail. We're both on Facebook.

But once in awhile, we sit down and compose, using pen and paper, a real letter. Writing is different somehow with a pen and paper than with a keyboard. It's a more thoughtful and personal process.

We take our letter to the post office, have it weighed and affix the proper postage for international mail delivery, and lovingly send it on its way. We send each other post cards from our travels.

Today, being a calmer day than earlier in the week, I'm writing to Hanne.

I could say the same thing in an email. Post it on Facebook. But it is not the same.

Try it sometime. Sending and receiving. Pure delight.