Do you remember the last time you wrote someone a letter? You know, an old-fashioned, stamp-on-an-envelope letter.
Since moving interstate six months ago, I have rediscovered the joy of sending and receiving personal, hand-written correspondence – particularly through my children.
There’s something a bit special about putting pen to paper, overseeing a crayon scribble or posting a hand drawn map of the solar system, as my son crafted for his grandad last week.
In fact I’ve now set in place a week-about correspondence with both sets of interstate grandparents – and friends, too. Now there is a flurry of drawings, newspaper clippings and day-to-day stories heading back and forth – and for my three-year-old, choosing the stamp for the envelope is half the fun! It’s personal and it takes a bit more effort, but it’s also a tangible connection and another topic of conversation during Skype chats.
This week, while trawling through my ‘family tree’ project (I will get back to it one day, I keep promising myself) I found a beautiful letter written by my grandfather, a self-taught calligrapher. I was struck by the very formal language and ‘old school’ sentiment, even though it was written in 1976. It was another reminder to me that writing by hand is a lost form of communication – and I think it’s very sad.
During August, why not choose a friend or relative and actually write them a letter? You might be surprised at how delighted they are to receive something personal in their letterbox – not a bill or another piece of election propaganda. Let me know how you go in the comments below!