Those who’d like to participate in Five Minute Friday will write for five minutes on the topic of the week, post it on their own blog and link up the post here. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.
This week’s prompt is: SEND
Years ago, I was heavily into penpalling. I sent stacks of letters, usually bulging with their piles of friendship books and slams stuffed in the envelopes, to penpals all over the world. My father joked that I was putting some postal worker’s kid through college with the amount of mail I sent off. And perhaps he was right. I honestly lost track of how many penpals I had.
And then suddenly, I stopped. I’d like to use the excuse that it was part of the technological creep, or that it was entirely a financial thing – but it wasn’t. I just wasn’t finding joy in writing letters anymore. I felt like all I was doing was sending stuff out, and that I wasn’t finding any value in it. So I stopped, cold turkey, for almost a decade.
And then late in 2013, I stumbled across a website called LetterMo, in which one sets a goal to write one letter per day for the month of February. A month later, I bought my first fountain pen, and was introduced to another February writing project – InCoWriMo (International Correspondence Writing Month). And quietly, I started writing again. My letters felt awkward at first, but rather than get swept up in all of the exchanges and extraeneous stuff that can take over the world of penpalling, I kept it simple: send letters of friendship. Expect nothing in return. Value what comes my way.
And while I’m already months behind in my letter writing (again), it’s a lot more enjoyable this time. Sitting down, writing a letter by hand – not just a notecard, but a letter – and sending it to someone who wishes to receive it, sit down with a cuppa, and read. That’s a quiet little sharing of the day that can only be done through the mail. Touching the paper that someone else used to write, possibly getting a slight smell of the ink (happens with fountains, anyway), being amused at the little quirks in handwriting differences… and realizing that this letter came from someone else that I have never met in person, will likely never meet in person, yet I have a connection with through the enjoyment of letters.
It’s almost February again, and LetterMo and InCoWriMo are kicking back up once again. And another unrelated project to reconnect the love of the handwritten word is starting, too – The Five Minute Friday Snail Mail party…
There’s something to this trend, I promise. And if you want to send a little love through the mail, with no strings attached, lovely little surprises and moments might be waiting in the mailbox. 🙂