The phrase, 'You've got mail' takes on a new meaning in this modern age. Today it tends to mean an email has dropped into the inbox, and often that mail is only glanced at before being 'pinged' off into space. Why? Because invariably it is trivia.
Last week I received 'real mail'. A little girl in my extended family sent a pink envelope with her 'writing' in blue, on the front. Her Mum had carefully put my name and address in the spaces left by my junior correspondent. The glitzy pinkish-purplish butterfly held pride of place near the stamp. Inside the envelope I discovered more writing, once again deciphered by the mother, and some family photos that I will treasure.
Today I posted a reply to this little three-year old, and fervently hope her efforts at letter writing carry over into adulthood. What a little treasure she is!
Today I received more 'real mail'; this time an impressive missive from my senior cousin with whom I keep in regular 'snail mail' contact. [She has no computer, nor indeed no computer skills.] We write several pages [confession ... I type and print them out. My
excuse reason is that my handwriting skills are disgusting, probably due to lack of exercise, but as I learned to type when a tender 13 year old my keyboard skills are more commendable] to each other fortnightly, catching up with family news, things that have happened or things that may, or may not, happen, the weather, the garden and all those seemingly small items that make up the tapestry of our daily lives.
Real letters I keep [for a long time, maybe not forever]; real letters I read more than once, real letters I would never dream of tossing into the fire before reading the last line several times, which is completely opposite to 'pinging off' an email.
I recall setting aside letter writing time; usually an afternoon when I replied to all my mail, and there were often several requiring my attention each week; elderly aunts and uncles with whom I religiously kept in touch relating small items of my daily existence and the tales of a growing family, but in doing so those older family members, often single, or widowed, felt they belonged.
I look with sadness the numbers of folk who prefer to
txt text, or send a joke via email. Slowly but surely the bonds of family life weaken; it is my fervent wish they do not disappear into the shroud of time.