Monday, August 29, 2011

Out in the Jungle*

Most days the postman arrives at at the House on the Corner during my lunch hour. I hear the clank of the mailbox lid and I always smile as I dash to see what kinds of goodies he has left. Most of the time it's advertising and bank statements, but once in a while I see my name hand-written on an envelope and the smile widens.

I spend my days surrounded by correspondence that is all but instantaneous. Between the e-mails, Facebook messages, two different instant-messaging programs, texts from the Boys, and calls on both my cell phone and work phone, it's practically impossible to be out of touch.

Still, there's something wondrous about a letter, or a handwritten note. Someone took the time to compose thoughts into a sentence, and sentences into paragraphs, and paragraphs into a letter. Then she found an envelope and a stamp and a place for the letter to be mailed, and the result is something that made me smile.

In not-so-many years our descendants are going to look back at our communication methods with fascinated pity, kind of the way we look back on the cross-hatched letters the Pony Express riders risked their lives to deliver to the prairie pioneers.

"They had to actually read e-mails and use their fingers to type a reply!" my great-grandchildren will marvel in thought-beams to their peeps. But then one of them will get an e-mail from me, writing from my nursing home, because we 114-year-olds just can't learn this new-fangled beaming technology, and I hope that child will smile.

Because when you work just a little harder at communicating, it's just a little more special.

*Congratulations if you recognized the source of this post title. I listened to Simon and Garfunkel's "Why Don't You Write Me?" a million times while I was in the Peace Corps, and was convinced they wrote it just for me. 

Why don't you write me?
I'm out in the jungle and hungry to hear you...

1 comment:

  1. Mom, I was a rural carrier for 30 years. Once in a while I was able to personally hand someone a handwritten envelope and it always brought a smile--especially my elder customers and young people. Write on!