We live in a unique age of technology. From emails to instant messaging and Skype to Facetime, connecting to someone across the country is as simple as snapping your fingers.
Despite all this, I love love LOVE snail mail. There's something so magical about writing a letter and sending it out into the wild with nothing but a stamp and some hope that it reaches its destination with no trouble.
There's something intimate about the "swwwff swwwff" of a pencil moving across the paper. Each movement, each mark I make releases my inner thoughts, capturing them in a way that I could never speak. My words are eloquent, my stories timed perfectly. If I can't think of a word, the awkward bumbling I'd do in conversation is not present. In writing, I can simply think of a new word!
Before I can begin writing, what paper will I use? Should I pull a sheet of notebook paper from my notebook, or should I type up my letter and print it on a nice sheet of copy paper? If I'm writing a quick note, will a notepad do? Is there any colored paper available; I just know my letter will look great printed on blue! The possibilities are endless!
After the writing, I fold the letter and stick it into my envelope. Like paper, there are a variety of envelopes to choose from. I currently have classic white, but my grandmother often sends hers in large, square, colored ones! No matter which envelope is chosen, it can be decorated with stickers or even colored pencils! When finished, fill out the address and then lick, stamp, and seal!
Once the letter is finished, a great sense of accomplishment washes over me. I am finished. I have completed my mission. Now all that's left is to set it into my mailbox with the flag raised or drop it off at the post-office.
Writing letters is only half the fun. The other half comes when I receive a letter back! There are few greater feelings than opening your mailbox and finding an envelope addressed to me with the knowledge that it's not a bill. After all, all that magic that was poured forth into writing the letter is now sealed up in the envelope, waiting to be opened.
When I open it, I'm swept into the minds of my friends and family. Their thoughts that I read on Facebook may be expanded upon in this piece of paper, or perhaps there are stories that they never mentioned online but have written to me in great detail.
Sure, I could have sent an email and called it good. Sure, I can keep up with my friends and family. However, writing a letter and receiving one back is the equivalent of watching a show on TV and waiting weeks in-between episodes. There's no binge-watching here. The joy comes from the process, from the writing to the waiting.
Friends, get yourself a penpal and start writing today!