The Value of a Handwritten Note
Emily Dickinson once wrote something that describes the value of a handwritten note:
When was the last time you received a handwritten note?
Are you like me and felt someone had brought you the sunset in a cup? Did you want to leap like new morning and thank the weaver of the “breadths of blue”?
Yes, this describes perfectly how I feel when I open the box at the end of my drive and find a note written with the hand of dear friend. There’s no glare of a computer screen, and no pop-up distractions. Just for a minute I feel we are connected, no matter the miles that separate us. It’s nice to sit with note in hand and imagine where she sat as she thought of me. To wonder what her day is like and if she knows the value of this sunset in a cup?
Decades ago, in Ms. Robey’s English class I read of a woman who sat down every morning to address her letters. I can’t recall the book, but the description comes to mind every time I take out my stationary. (This is my paraphrased version of what I remember.)
The morning sun streamed through the window and cast long beams across the paper and inkwell. She sat her teacup atop a book of poems. Her gaze stretched far across the hills where the clouds cast shadows across the terrain. The smell of musty paper, ink and steeping tea reminded her of another time.
Her desk was small and had daintily curved legs with just enough room for her dress and petticoat to fall spaciously to the floor. With pen in hand, she turned her thoughts toward her friend, and began to share her world.
My Small Desk
I bought this desk in 1997 in an antique shop in Mobile, AL. I stood there daydreaming about a classroom in Trussville, AL. I remembered the passage from a random story where a woman sat and addressed her letters. This became my bedside table where I stored my stationary and thanked generous friends for random acts of kindness.
There were stains on the leather from teacups or coffee mugs. I have added a few myself over the years. A cold glass of sweet tea or two with water droplets puddling under the glass. It doesn’t matter to me. It adds character to the desk.
Spreading out my supplies, I’m ready to address my letters. It was brilliant of the Post Office to introduce forever stamps. It’s just how I feel about my friendships.
The folded note is an easy way to send a quick note. No need for an envelope, just write the note, fold, seal, address and stamp.
Life unfolds like the opening of a flower…
Each moment bringing its own kind of beauty.
Count the Day Well Spent
To share these moments with our closest friends and family bonds us to them just like a forever stamp. The value never depreciates. George Eliot said it best:
If you sit down at set of sun And Count the acts that you have done, And, counting, find One self-denying deed, one word That eased the heart of him who heard, One glance most kind That fell like sunshine where it went — Then you may count that day well spent.
But if, through all the livelong day, You’ve cheered no heart, by yea or nay— If, through it all You’ve nothing done that you can trace That brought the sunshine to one face — No act most small That helped some soul and nothing cost— Then count that day as worse than lost.
One handwritten note can count our day well spent.
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