I don’t know if letter writing is a southern thing (or thang) or just proper etiquette, but I was raised to write letters. It actually drove me crazy when I was younger. Did Mrs. Willis really need a thank you letter from me because she opened the church door? Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration but never-the-less, I wrote a lot of letters to the elders in my church growing up. My grandmother would buy, in bulk, stationary and stamps. Many Saturdays were spent at her kitchen table writing letters, folding letters, licking that yucky glue on the envelope and sending each one off to its specific destination.
Now that my grandmother is gone and not here to ask, “Sarah, did you send out a letter to that sweet lady?” I actually miss it. I miss the personal implications that a letter in the mail implies. Even now, at age 35, I find myself holding my breath when I get a personal hand-written letter. It is almost like I can hear the person saying, “I see you. I want you to know I personally thought of you today.”
Letter writing is a lost art. It makes me sad.
Today, we experience the illusion of connection because of the virtual world that is at our fingertips 24/7. And as much as I would like to think my little part of the world has expanded for the best, I fear that it has actually done just the opposite.
I am disconnected more now than I have ever been. It makes me feel alone.
Yesterday, I went to Target and raided the dollar bins. I was in heaven. I literally cleaned out the stationary bin and all the pretty little flowered envelopes I could find. For those dollar bin shoppers that came after me, please forgive me! It was a matter of utter importance.
It took me a few tries before I successfully wrote my first letter. It was almost foreign for me not to hyperlink something or add an emoji. I simply could not tag the person on social media to tell them something. I wrote their name and then my black ink pen wrote out words without the familiar clicking sound of the keyboard.
It was magic. And yet, it was the most personal I had been in years.
I felt connected. I felt happy knowing that someone would open that letter and read my words of appreciation. I did not even mind the yucky taste of the envelope this time.
I think my grandmother would have been proud of me today.