There is something so utterly alluring about holding in ones hand an unopened letter written on good quality stationary. It is one of the simple pleasures of my life to sit down with a cup of tea and read the thoughts and sentiments from a friend sent by post.
These days a snail mail letter is a rare treasure that gives me great pleasure not only for the words, but for the effort, and joy in shared personality that a hand written personal touch brings. I read and reread each one I ever get. I save them tied up with ribbons and then every few years, once I have a little stack, I have a burning ritual where I light all aflame and send the sentiments to the ethers. You see, these thoughts were meant for me and I always carry their messages in my heart.
It took me some time to find my own personal signature stationary for writing, but for the last chunk of years I have settled on this amazing paper from the French boutique stationer G. Lalo. It is a paper company started in Paris in the 1920’s, but all their products are made and watermarked in small batches at a paper mill in the Netherlands which has been in operation since 1618 ( http://www.papschut.nl/page/Engels__7C_Papierfbriek_Schut_b.v.__History.php ) . The texture and feel of each sheet of this paper is luxurious and the deckle edged envelopes are a joy to address and seal. Each time I get to send a note out, I feel like it should be sealed with wax and handed off to a man on a horse to be hand delivered!
I also adore using the perfect pen to ink each letter turning it into a little piece of personal art. I keep a little stack of writing implements close at hand to use to fit the mood of the moment. At times I want a thin and dainty lined note and others thick and chunky scrawl gets the point across best. Lately I have been re-falling in love with my fountain pen from Caran d’Ache ( http://www.carandache.ch/m/index.lbl ) and I have even been toying with the idea of trying some scented ink to write little love notes to my nieces with. How long has it been since you sent a scented note to someone you love? I miss the communication days before electronic everything. Who doesn’t remember the thrill of opening your locker and finding a little folded treasure slipped in? My teen niece’s texting doesn’t quite capture the romance of passing real notes.
I would encourage anyone reading this to make the commitment when there is something important to be communicated (special birthday, graduation, falling in love) to find the best quality stationary you can afford and to hand write your thoughts out. This way you give not only your words, but also the gift of a wonderful experience that goes along with reading them out on paper. Make the effort and be savored.