Yesterday I received a three-page letter in the mail from a friend. Inside the envelope there were five photographs included. I pulled it out of the mail box, walked back up the driveway, made myself a cup of tea and sat down to read it. Three pages, five photographs and not even Christmas!!!!!
What a wonderful gift to still hear from friends and family. More and more so, it’s by email. Just this morning I sent and email to my brother and sister-in-law with photo attachments, but a snail mail letter still feels homey and familiar to me. I appreciated it very much.
It’s a letter I’m proud to receive, actually. I don’t consider myself a very good friend-type person . . . . That’s not to say I’m unfriendly. I think time and circumstance have been more in control of that than I. But the person who sent me this letter has been a good friend for a long time. Not long enough. Not a childhood chum. A later-in-life acquaintance that felt comfortable from the start. Hard to hope for when one has established a life and a circle of people much closer in distance.
Oddly though, the letter didn’t feel like catching up out of guilt. It simply felt like filling in the gaps where time and space leave question marks: a surgery, and then another, travel, hot water heater broken down, the weather . . . . so very normal. I love normal.
Sometimes – most times - I feel frantically out of step with this crazy world, but a letter from a friend can soften all the uncertainty and adjust my outlook on life.
My friend asked me to write in return and send photographs, too. I will. We both have had previous chats about Goodnight . . . Officer Friendly, so it will feel like I’m taking my turn in a conversation and turning another page in the family photo album.
Funny . . . this person could have sat down at the computer and sent me an email. We both know enough technology to do that. But maybe we both are old enough to appreciate the dimension and heft of something tangible when we peek into our mail boxes. That’s the kind of friend I have.
I hope you have them too.