Wednesday, July 06, 2011

day 47

Loving Letters 

Today I received in the mail a letter written by a woman I met briefly at Bowdoin College. We recently reconnected through Linkedin, the business networking site now on the rise. Her note arrived in a heavy creamy white envelope. Enclosed were two square writing cards, inked scrawl recounting a story about one of our former college presidents.  The note, which was graced with an embossed gold sun, our college's symbol, made me stop. Amid the stacks of bills and bulk rate catologs of beaming swimsuited kids rested her letter. I sat with her correspondence rubbing my fingers across the raised seal.  

The first time I wrote another human being with great flurry and heat was the boy I loved in college. We seemed to be forever separated by semesters, coasts and overseas travel. One particular summer when he was in Kenya and I in Washington, much of his correspondence arrived via aerogram. They were blue, thin and so flimsy you'd marvel at their survival of a cross continent journey. I still recall stampeding down the staircase of my parents' home, hoping one had arrived.

Then, there were no laptops, no cellphones nor androids to text  "I luv u." Email had not been invented. Every written awaited syllable seemed accentuated by the distance and certainty of our separation.

After Hours Forget Me Not Wax Seal
Charm Necklace at Etsy: Click Me
In the last two years, I have become good friends with a gentleman with whom I play Scrabble. On occasion when a serious event of some consequence arises, the diagnosis of my daughter's illness, the death of his father, we've abandoned the haphazard Dr. Seussian conversation around our game tiles and jobs and have written emails with the intensity and flurry of letters of another era.

I believe in years gone by they would have been written by pens dipped in ink, slid into parchment envelopes, and sealed with warm wax stamps. They would have been couriered by horses, perhaps for miles in the dark.


Tennessee Beader said...

I'm a opinion columnist, and I get handwritten letters at least monthly. I love them! It makes me feel like the person put more time/ thought into the missive. :)

Ned Daly said...

Thanks for becoming a follower at Walking Around, Paying Attention. I thought you might like the link below.

Margo was my aunt and a source of inspiration my whole life. Smart as a whip, drop dead gorgeous, and never took a lick of guff from anyone.

Wanda Fleming said...

I so agree Tennessee... Ned I love the piece..amazing woman..she would have been the wing walker of my dreams!! Well okay Marine..but still...


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