I trudged to the post office 3 days in a row in anticipation. I fought with the door (which has had a broken handle since November) with the eagerness of a child fervently tearing into a too-well-wrapped birthday gift. I opened my mailbox hoping to find something. Anything.
But there was nothing.
Among other things, I’d been waiting for a letter from my friend Paul, who lives in New York state.
I’d met Paul last August at the Gottingen Street backpacker’s hostel in Halifax, where I stayed for a few days prior to my trip to Perú (he, amid his gallivanting through Nova Scotia). Discerning his awesomeness during late-night chitchat and simultaneous email checking in the hostel’s common room, I invited him to join me for breakfast the next morning.
Breakfast turned to hours of strolling through Public Gardens, the Farmer’s Market and everywhere in between, and engaging in conversation as intriguingly wide-ranging as the places through which we’d passed. One lovely day of hanging out turned into 2, plus a breakfast, and we’ve kept in touch ever since.
One of the topics of our conversation was the lost art of Snail Mail.
With the advent and growing popularity of the quick and easy world wide web, the heartfelt, hand-written letter has fallen into under-appreciation and this made us sad. Don’t get me wrong – I do relish every heartfelt email – but a hand-written letter is so much more to be cherished. It’s tangible and it’s intimate. It’s something that actually takes time to create. The hand-written letter remains always a little raw and unpolished. Never rendered generic by font selections in a word processor, a hand-written letter is like a piece of its author – its uniqueness animated by one’s idiosyncratic penmanship.
Both avid travellers with a penchant for the (hand) written word, Paul and I agreed to do our part in keeping Snail Mail alive as we go our separate ways to wherever it is we’ll go.
I’m writing this post of awesome today because yesterday, my letter from Paul had finally arrived.