While my son is in basic training with the Air Force, we can only communicate via mail. Remember the mail? Where you wrote out the envelope and applied a stamp? In this world of emails, text messaging and skype, old fashioned letter writing is a lost art.
The Saturday before Mother’s Day, I received flowers from my oldest and his wife. I also received a letter from my son in basic. I had hoped he’d be able to call, but not until the 4th week. This letter is most precious. It’s short. He wished me a happy mother’s day. He’s fine and wanted more football news. So mundane, but I find myself reading it over and over. I’ve saved them all.
I now understand the importance of letters to Regency women. This was their only lifeline to news and to each other. I imagine that waiting for the post could be the highlight of the day. Writing letters was their only form of communication when they were apart.
Distance was another factor. Today we think nothing of driving thirty miles to visit someone. We track distance in the number of minutes we can get there in. Not so with my Regency characters. Even five miles was a great distance if one had to walk. In an Unexpected Wish, Anne and her family can’t afford a horse, so she walked everywhere. Letters were precious.
In his last letter, my son asked that we write more. I’d like to think he’ll save these letters from home, treasure them as we treasure his. I’m probably wrong, but it has been a good experience for us both. Hearing from a loved one in written form, where you can hold it in your hand, fold it and re-read it again and again, is an amazing experience.
When was the last time you physically wrote a letter to someone you cared about?