Putting Pen To Paper

When was the last time you wrote a letter? The kind of letter that involves a little bit of ceremony - making a tea or coffee then sitting down at a table with pen and paper and actually writing to someone by hand. There's also the follow up - attaching a postage stamp and posting the letter. 


My son Nick and I were chatting recently about the lost art of letter writing when he suggested that for one year, we correspond by writing letters. Because I love everything associated with letter writing - writing paper, pens, wax seals and the act of writing by hand, I jumped at the idea.


While gathering up my writing equipment, I came across a box of letters I've kept over the years. What I love most about a hand-written letter is not just the conversation that takes place on the page but the writing itself. All of us have our own unique hand or script and we can instantly recognise the handwriting of those close to us. Research has shown writing by hand eases stress, gives you time to organise your thoughts and sharpens your memory. 


More than anything else, receiving a hand-written letter is a record of a specific time, place and person in your life. A gift to treasure. Somehow, reading back over old emails (if we still have them) just isn't the same as reading a hand-written letter by someone you love. I have letters from a friend that still make me laugh to this day and one I received from my father when I was in my early 20's. Whenever I read his letter, I hear his voice. And all because he took the time to put pen to paper! I'm so glad he did.