She Writes Home

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The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.” ~ Anthony Robbins

 

The other day, I began to think about the consequences of the digital world with regard to personal communication. I think back to my college days of long ago – leaving my family and my high school friends behind. Long distance calling was not cheap, nor was it a daily or weekly occurrence, so I wrote a prodigious amount of handwritten letters to my friends and family, all about the fulfilling life I had rebuilt for myself  some 500 miles from home in the Green Mountains of Vermont. 

Sometimes I tried to be creative. I’d send my family and friends a token from Vermont. A pressed, dried wildflower or single frond of fern, tucked flatly in the envelope. I often walked to the college grounds, through the woods, from my off campus housing. I was always on the look-out for large treasured pieces of peeled birch bark to be used as an alternate source of stationary. Sustainability was not the buzz word back then, but, I did realize on some level that I was recycling and re-using a natural resource. 

Sending handwritten letters on beautiful stationary, envelopes sealed with stamped wax, have nearly gone by the wayside. Now with instantaneous digital communication, people reserve handwritten notes and cards for special occasions – Fathers Day, Mothers Day, Birthdays and Anniversaries. E-Cards have reduced the need for “Belated” cards because you can deliver electronic cards, PDQ! 

It has been a while since I have sent a heartfelt letter through the mail home. Next time I do, I’d like to enclose a sprig of prairie grass, sagebrush, New Mexico privet or maybe a small branch of Apache plume, will do. But I am reminded by the words of Gerard Manley Hopkins: 

“What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long the weeds and the wilderness yet.”

On second thought, I think I’ll just send an e-card, that way I can design the page with any flower or plant that I want. http://bit.ly/q89tj7.

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