Wednesday, February 20, 2008
As I walked through one of my favorite shops in Concord called Nesting On Main , my attention immediately went to the stacks of old letters. They were in baskets, on tabletops and in interesting containers in the back room. I purchased a few to use in some canvas designs and to entertain my imagination as I fancied the stories that might be behind these little treasures.
Is there anything as thrilling as going to the mailbox and receiving a letter from a friend or loved one? Letters are an amazing gift. Little treasures to be read over and over again. They are written in such a short time, yet they live forever, as evidenced by this letter written eighty-two years ago. We can carry a message in our bag or place it next to where we enjoy a cup of tea. Wherever we stash these little beautiful keepsakes, they are a welcome sight that lives and brings us back to another time, or delights our fancy knowing what others are doing in their lives today.
All over the world these precious papers are stored in special boxes. Lovers sent letters in envelopes marked S.W.A.K. (sealed with a kiss) decorated with lipstick kisses during WWII. I am sure that this tradition continues today in letters to and from Iraq and Afghanistan and other parts of the world. Letters that children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will cherish for a lifetime because it records their family’s history during such a vulnerable time in their lives.
Beautiful envelopes hosting intricate design and boasting postage with equally beautiful graphics have been sent for centuries. Letters holding memories that deserve to live forever:
Vignettes of life,
snippets of adventures,
invitations to dinners, parties,
and holiday gatherings,
announcements of births,
weddings and family
Pieces of memoirs held in place by embossed raised monograms and closed with sealing wax. Pens and inks of every color and design created little masterpieces for a friend or loved one to hold. Romantics placed letters underneath their pillow at night to feel the closeness of the distant lover. Letters were placed into Hope Chests for the betrothed, jewelry boxes and desk drawers, night stands and books. Boxes filled to the brim with letters were tied in ribbons and heart strings. At Christmas a letter was tucked inside the greeting cards to update the addressee of the sender’s adventures.
The letter, a cherished memoir to read from a vintage store, or old love letters sent to you long ago, or a dear note that your little one wrote to you. These are such sweet reminders of how important words and expressions of feelings are to all of us.
A small package of history and love to cherish. Sweet memories to hold in your hand or place in your pocket or perhaps underneath your pillow. Words that strung together stories of a person’s life...too important to discard. Works of art,..the art of lovely words and sentiments we all love to read.
The song for this post isTime After Time