In addition to this being my birthday month, it's also the month we celebrate mothers and grandmothers. Given all that we've been through of late and the fact that we might not be able to connect in person . . . what can we do to honor our mothers and grandmothers, many of whom have made huge sacrifices for, and contributions to, our lives? Whether they're alive or deceased, this might be a good opportunity to write them a handwritten letter. W
hether you’ll be connecting across the miles, telling them you're thinking of them, or simply making amends, a letter is a beautiful way to connect.
Those from past generations are quite familiar with the letter form. As
a grandmother of four young children who don't even read yet, I've made a habit of mailing them letters. It's wonderful to watch their excitement when they see their names on envelopes arriving in the mail. I look forward to the day when they can actually
my letters, and not have their parents read to them!
The practice of letter writing goes back thousands of years and served as a way for people to communicate with one another, at least until the invention of the telegraph in the 19th century. Years ago when my eldest daughter was in grade school, we went on a field trip and visited the home of Thomas Jefferson in Williamsburg, Virginia. We learned about Jefferson’s inherent passion for letter writing. In fact, he used a device called a polygraph (patented by John Isaac Hawkins) to make copies of all his written letters. Jefferson called it “the finest invention of the present age.”
Studies have shown that we tend to dig deeper into our psyches when we use the handwritten word, as opposed to using email as a form of communication. Writing stimulates and engages the brain to a greater extent, and some say that the most authentic writing is done with a pen or pencil. Crafting a handwritten note can also encourage us to slow down and take some deep, relaxing breaths. This is an excellent way to practice mindfulness during these uncertain times!