today, after spending some time in the gym, my love and i wandered by our post box to check and see if we had any mail, hoping that when i put the key in the keyhole, turned the lock, and opened the door, there would be something fun laying there just waiting for us. i mean, really, don’t we all wish that?! something other than bills or junk.
and, you know what? today there was! it was real, live, genuine snail mail in the form of letters! and it wasn’t just me or lina that received a little surprise in the mailbox, it was both of us! from different people in different countries. so, not only was it real mail, but it was international mail… for both of us!
there is nothing like the feeling of holding a handwritten letter, knowing that the sender had pen in hand and thought especially of you as she or he wrote those words down, folded the paper, tucked it into an envelope, and took the time to go mail it. what a special feeling.
now, i admit that i am not good at this. i am a terrible sender; but there is hope for me! i am in the middle of a little snail mail collective (as we call ourselves), which will hold me accountable to create, write, and send things to new friends that i have all over the world. and that’s exactly what i need. accountability. there’s something to be said for community – a group of people you make a commitment with.
this little “snail mail collective” is a type of pen pal group, started because of a connection on Instagram, a photo sharing social media app on smartphones. since i have been doing my belovelive photo journeys, i have connected with tons of people, who have then connected me with tons of more people, and a few of us (thanks to one very creative & organize lady) have now become a group of ladies who write letters, send photos, and connect with each other through regular mail, as well as on Instagram. it is amazing!!
currently we have 3 rounds circling the globe (that’s right, folks, i said globe) at this very instant. the first one is 13 ladies who are sending a letter, a map, and a photo to each other. we keep the photo and letter, and then mark on the map where we are sending our letter & send it on with a letter we write & a photo we enclose. right now the map/letter are in england, making it’s 4th or 5th stop criss-crossing the continents. then it’s over to australia (where it began) and then, on to me! i can’t remember where i send it next. soooo exciting!
but, today, i didn’t receive a package that was part of the snail mail collective, per se. we are both part of the collective, but it was more of a “just because” kinda package. my little package came from an Instagram (IG) friend from melbourne, australia. we connected about 2ish months ago, and last week she sent me this little welcome package that i received today. amazing! i ran upstairs, listened to lina read her amazing letter from a dear friend in sweden, warmed some coffee, and then opened my envelope. in our collective, we have sort of decided to have a cup of tea or a cup of coffee when we open our mail, as a way to sow down and savor the moment. a great tradition, i think. so, i did just that.
inside was a lace paper envelope, folded, and holding a hand-written letter, 3 photos, and a postcard of melbourne. and then, there was a little gift wrapped in green paper (my fave color!). as i unwrapped my gift, i knew what it was, and i was blown away that i received it.
about a month ago, the sender of the package, posted a photo on IG of a beautiful handmade ring. i commented that i loved it, and suddenly she replied that once i was settled in asheville, she’d send it to me as a welcoming gift. i was shocked and overwhelmed at her generosity!
so, here’s the lesson i have learned:
- instagram is an amazing way to meet people!
- kindness and generosity still exist in the world.
- paying it forward only spreads more joy and happiness.
- there is, and never will be, anything to replace the power of snail mail.
sending thoughts of love and peace to you all.