Dear Reader, Here is another “Guest Author” treat from Colette. Her Letters to Self is such a thoughtful idea to fulfil her personal wish to continue receiving mail from foreign places -way into the future. She’s right, it’s brilliant!
Ever since I learned how to write, I have had pen pals. The French nuns at the convent school where I was educated had their home office in Burgundy, France. They paired us (students) off with little French girls about the same age to exchange letters across our two continents. Back in those days, it took weeks to get a response. And so began my love affair with letter writing that has stayed with me for the rest of my life.
From an early age, I knew that I preferred to express myself in writing rather than speaking. Since I lived abroad for the better part of thirty years, I have kept in touch with friends from every country I have lived in after I moved away. However, as years went by, some of those pen pals have either lost interest or just passed on. One day, it struck me that the joy I always feel from finding handwritten letters in my mailbox was diminishing as fewer letters were being sent with each passing year. The advent of the internet and social media have made matters worst. The new technology coupled with the postal system’s problems have brought letter writing to its demise. I fear that once my generation passes on, the art of handwritten letters will come to an end.
One day while on a trip somewhere, I had the brilliant idea of sending myself a postcard. When I got home I was happy to find this postcard waiting for me in my mailbox. On the next trip I wrote myself a letter along with a few postcards. This was the start of what has become a part of my daily routine while I am traveling. My travel journals are now filled with those letters that have remained unopened. When I reach the day when I can no longer travel, I will sit down with my journals and open all those letters I have sent to myself through the years, and relive all the wonderful experiences I have had while traveling over this beautiful planet of ours.
If you feel inspired by Colette’s Travel Journals, Chronicle Press’ Letters to My Future Self, offers something similar. ” It’s a keepsake bundle of letters, like a dozen diary entries for the future. It’s a gift for both looking ahead, and eventually, it promises to delight with times remembered.”-Lea Redmond . This concept strongly mirrors Colette’s. N’est-ce pas? (don’t you think?)
Regarding the demise of letter writing, well, I feel it is up to us to keep letter writing alive. Write to a friend, even a postcard, send a thank you note, or “sit right down and write yourself a letter” for the future. Do it today, this week, soon as you can. Afterall, April is National Letter Writing Month.