Love: Well-written

“Let us never underestimate the power of a well-written letter.” -Jane Austen

No one could have said it better than dear Jane. At the good moments in my life, moments of pure love and admiration, I’ve always turned to letter writing. In moments of deep sorrow and hurt, I’ve turned to letter writing. In times of despair and confusion, I’ve turned to letter writing - reaching out to those whose love is unconditional and wisdom is irreplaceable. There is a comfort for me, in taking a moment to write down my thoughts, or love, or confusion. There is also comfort knowing that when that letter is received, the person on the other end will also give me back some time, to take in my words, and absorb them, and maybe even respond to them. There is a simple, yet powerful beauty in written letters, and today we will explore how this simple act can be a simple form, or loving each other. 

Hand-written memories 

Some of my favorite moments in life have been around the written word. As a child, I had a penpal, named Hollyanne. She was a classmate in first grade but then moved to the Philippines. After she left, we’d write to each other about life.. silly things really, if you think about what a 2nd grader might have to write about, but beautiful nonetheless. Through these letters, we formed a bond. It was a lovely feeling knowing that any day, I might have a letter in the mail, addressed to me, from a dear friend from across the world. 

I have boxes of carefully folded notes from friends throughout middle school and high school. We used these letters to hash out a fight, to discuss our upcoming tests and to list out what boys we loved that particular day. I’m amazed how within those notes, moments of history are preserved. When I unfold a note, I jump right back into how I felt the day I received it and as I fold it back up, feelings of gratitude and friendship surround me. 

My dear friend Diana and I took it one step further, being the over-achiever-high-school students we were and decided the best way to keep track of our lives was to share a journal. That’s right. We’d write back and forth, leaving it with each other overnight, and handing it off in class the next day. Whenever I reread our entries, I am filled with amazement for those young girls, and pride for the strong beliefs and ideals we had already established early in life.

Want to hear something cool?  We still have that same journal and instead of slipping it into a backpack on the way to class, now we hide it in each other’s homes; to find after we depart from a visit. This simple, shiny glittery notebook holds handwritten proof of the extreme and unbreakable bond we have formed with each other over the years. 

Shower someone with a little love.

Whenever I sit down to write a letter, it’s as if the world around me stops and I slip into a Jane Austen novel. I’m suddenly aware of the smoothness of the paper below my pen, the flow of the ink, and the texture of the table. As I write, my breathing slows, and I can hear the sounds around me. What happens next is my favorite, I can hear my voice, narrating the letter as I write. Sometimes I’m surprised by the softness in my words, but I’m often surprised at the dramatic flair that comes out as well. Letter writing doesn't have to be a thing of the past. It can be the beautiful we carry into our present lives. It can be our form of love for others that we work into our busy and hectic days. 

Imagine for a moment, the last time you received a letter in the mail. Not a bill. Not an invitation. Not a survey from the hospital. A handwritten letter - just for you. How did opening and reading that letter make you feel? Did the space between you and your loved one suddenly feel smaller, as if that person was there right next to you? 

I invite you to take a moment this week, and write a letter to the first person that comes to mind. Maybe a dear friend who now lives far away, or your mom, or your grandma, or your next door neighbor. Although there are all kinds of letters we could write, let’s focus on a letter of gratitude, love or thanks. 

Self-care Twist

Make it a moment for you, as much as it is for them. Pour yourself a warm cup of tea, grab your favorite pen, put on some soft music, pick a beautiful piece of stationary or a handmade card, and really enjoy the moment of putting pen to paper. Feel the link to our ancestors and classic novelists at this moment. Enjoy the time you’ve carved out and know that in doing so, you’ll be giving someone a beautiful memory to treasure for days to come. Because, you never know when that little letter might be the thing they cling to, to keep going forward, to keep pushing through a tough moment, or reread to feel loved. Let’s keep writing letters a thing of the “now”… shall we? 

If you need any note cards, I've got you covered! Each card is hand-made, watercolored, original, stamped and signed by yours truly! Just like the words you'll fill it with, it's one-of-a-kind. 

Peace friends.

Carrianne Nackers

Artist/Founder of The Happy Apricot

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