An endangered species

When my Papaw was away serving in World War 2 he wrote love letters to my Granny who he was dating. In one of those precious mailings he asked her to marry him and enclosed a ring.

As the twenty-first centry lurches forward, though we find that love letters—-so awkward, so slow, so exhausting to compose—are an endangered species. We forget that romantic connections benefit from solitude nearly as much as the beloved’s company.

from Solitude by Michael Harris

Have you ever been a recipient of a love letter? Or maybe on the sending end pouring your heart’s affections out to your beloved?

While it does feel so awkward and slow as Harris puts it, it also feels so beautiful and slow. The last time I remember a love letter was when it was one of the few options we had. About a decade ago I lived in Mexico working with a missions group and teaching English, while dating my now-husband who was at home in the States. We only dated maybe 60 days before I had my passport stamped and moved away with two suitcases for at minimum the next calendar year. At that time we had Skype and email, however, with spotty internet living in a mountainous region of Mexico, the connection left a lot to be desired. But ya’ll, there is nothing like holding a letter in hand with the handwriting of the one you love telling you about their truest parts and what you mean to them.

So what do you think? What do you say to sitting down with an actual ink pen ( you probably have a few around the house with a variety of local businesses with their companies plastered on them) a sheet of paper, you rip out of your kiddos notebook, and crafting a good ole fashioned love letter? Maybe it can be to your spouse. Maybe it should be to your momma. Maybe you consider writing one to yourself and posting it with some scotch tape on your closet door. Not because you have to. Not because it’s the fastest way to get your message across. Maybe because awkward, slow and exhausting are when we share from the most honest place.

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