Today, while doing the morning chores in the backyard, I heard a trin-trin and the churning of wheels. Wondering who would be the visitor at this very early hour, I scrambled off to the front. Surprises of surprises, I saw an evelope peeking from the gray box next to the gate. Whoa, I’ve got mail !!! As in not e-mail nor courier, but actual proper airmail. Wow, I thought both the postman and the envelopes were extinct !! I havn’t seen them for quite a while, so they must have definitely on the endangered list at least.
Excited, I reached for the envelopes and oh, there were three of them. And nope they were not the brown ones but the air-mail ones, with stamps of various colours pasted on the front. One from Granma, one from my best friend and one from my sister. Hurray for sending the letters. It still feels exciting to slit the letter and to run your fingers across the writing. Kinds of lets you see the person who has written you the letter face-to-face.
Getting the letter brings back memories during childhood, of sitting in the porch at home eagerly awaiting the post during the long summer months or rushing from school to check the mail, letters from Gran, from pen-pals, from cousins. Sometimes, there would be a dime with the letter (only, if it’s from Gran), or maybe a couple of pressed leaves, my Aunt’s dog, Brownie’s paw-prints or a drawing from my three-year old cousin, but the anticipation was there.
Though, recently maybe ten years or so; the Internet revolution took over and mail became e-mail, post became snail mail !! You have something emergency to post or even magazines, try the courier services or registered post. But who ever sends letters via registered post !!
Letters, somehow no matter how much the ink may fade or how old they are; I still take them from my trunk, where I have kept them and read them once in a while. The sentiments, the expressions, the poignant moments; they still are treasured. The X’mases celebrated,or Ro with this fracture in the hospital, our home-coming, Granpa’s hospital stays, how my pen-pal spent her summer hols and many more events are there in those folded stacked papers, priceless as faded they may look. Taking the time to write or even read them brings you back to those times, those days, and no matter how busy the day might be; going a trip down memory lane while reading a letter or penning down one is a good way to perk up the day.
Though it was not just about the letters, but about the envelopes as well. Stamps, of course. Trades were done mostly in school and around neighbourhood. Those who had folks overseas were the lucky ones. They could get two local stamps exchanged with the foreign ones. Recently, my younger sister took over the collection. Unfortunately, she does buy stamps intermittenly ‘cause the stamp exchanges were not how it used to be.
Personally speaking, the e-mail is definitely ultra-fat and quick and of course, it doesn’t get lost in the process of sending. But consider the language, the part of writting, of connecting with the sender, of putting in the mail-box after attaching stamps and the joy of receiving a letter as well. Somehow, a bit of both does work wonders. Regular communications, yes I would have it e-mailed, yet once a while writing a letter, good old snail mail, would be fun as well.
Now, on the list things to do today, to buy envelopes and stamps. Definitely can’t miss the latter. And then to get started of penning down a reply. Hope my handwriting will last through the legibility phase.