I picked up this book about Julia Child and her pen pal, Avis DeVoto, at a bookstore recently. I didn’t buy it, but it did get me thinking. I had a few pen pals throughout my growing up years and always loved the concept of exchanging letters. I still find it so gratifying to read and write handwritten letters. There is something to be said for taking the time to sit down and write a letter—an update, a reflection, a thank you or show of support in a tough time. Receiving a letter like this makes me feel special.
People are always concerned with efficiency these days. It’s become a cultural norm. But what if we took the time to write down our thoughts on nice stationary and send them to our confidants? It’s a tradition that I’d like to recapture. I think there’s something almost magical about it. One thing that I appreciate about Avis and Julia’s pen pal friendship is that they didn’t just write thank you notes for gifts or sympathy cards when one of them lost a loved one. They wrote back and forth regularly just sharing about their day to day lives.
I talked earlier in this series about long distance friendships. It’s remarkable to think that these two women were able to maintain such a close friendship without any of the technologies that we enjoy today. Letter writing feels very personal, and it kept them connected. They sustained a strong friendship, felt free to discuss topics that they might not broach in public, and ultimately supported each other over the course of many years and seasons of life.
I think I’ve just inspired myself to get some new stationary. 🙂