Sunday, August 1, 2010

What's with the letters?

“A Letter is a Joy of Earth”
~Emily Dickinson

I love Emily. Of course, I mean Emily Anne first, but I also love Emily, as in Dickinson, the poet. Most know Emily Dickinson for her slant rhyme poetry or for her eccentric reclusiveness. What is less known is the fact that Emily was a prolific letter writer. She wrote hundreds and hundreds of letters to family and friends, letters that not only sustained relationships during her years of seclusion but letters that also revealed much about Emily’s life and thoughts.

Like Emily, I love letters. How special it is to go to the mailbox and have a personal letter, written just for you. How special it is to be able to go back to the words written by a loved one long after the memory of a fleeting conversation has faded.

When Marty and I were discussing whether or not we should write our own wedding vows, I suggested that we write letters instead, letters we could privately exchange on our wedding day. As I sat on the balcony all alone the night before our wedding writing my letter to Marty, I realized that putting words to why I love him was harder than I expected. Cliches just wouldn’t do. By the time I finished, I also realized that writing my letter had clarified my thinking, taken me back through precious memories, and made me fall in love all over again. So now, in the daily hustle of life, when we are frustrated and exhausted, if we can find a minute, we can go back to those letters for a gentle reminder of our love for each other.

In the epistolary tradition, I commemorated Emily and Drew’s first six weeks with personal letters to each of them. As I read back through the letters, I realized the letters speak to each child’s unique self while introducing the beginning of a love story. Quite unexpectedly, though, I found they also reveal much about me, the writer—a proud, super-emotional new mom.

So now you know what's with the letters :-) Maybe I have inspired you to consider a little letter writing. I know we're all busy. Shoot, I typed most of Emily and Drew's letters with one hand while holding one of them in the other! But I am glad I did it because I bet I won't have anymore time in the weeks and months to come. So I leave you with a few questions to get you thinking...Have you written a letter lately? Do you have someone in your life that would love to have a special note written just for him/her? Do you have a moment in time that you want to capture? Maybe start with a short note? Regardless of the length or subject matter, I bet that both you and the lucky recipient will find a bit of joy in it.


Katie said...

Your twins are super cute! Our boy/girl twins will be three soon ... time flies. Enjoy each stage. :-)

Ashleigh said...

That is the most adorable picture ever!

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