Hi everyone. Sorry I disappeared on you for a few days. I’m back.
My P.O. Box has been keeping happy in the interim. I’d like to share a response today from a lady who has this handwritten letter thing down to a tee. Her envelopes, stationery, the whole nine yards, are lovely. She also sends postcards around the world for people to send send back with a message and a postmark. Talk about connecting the world. I encourage you all to check out her project called the Orphaned Postcard Project.
Post Muse responded to the question: Have you ever received a letter from another country? Where, and from whom? Do you remember what it looked like? Had you yourself ever traveled there before, or did the letter make you want to? If you haven’t received one, have you ever sent one to someone while visiting another country?
The response came written in a beautiful card she had picked up while traveling in Wales. The front of the card has a thin wooden spoon on it, and inside there is an informational card about the spoon’s meaning, which reads:
The Legend of the Lovespoon
Giving gifts of carved wooden spoons is a Welsh tradition which symbolises affection and has its roots in centuries long past. In fact, the Edwardian English expression — to go “spooning” — is believed to have its origins in this Welsh tradition.
It is sometimes thought that this ancient Welsh custom represented an early type of engagement ring or perhaps that presentation and subsequent acceptance of a carved spoon confirmed the beginning of a serious courtship.
Though the exact history of the lovespoon legend is shrouded in uncertainties, we know that the carver would incorporate particular motifs to convey particular sentiments.
Nowadays, whenever you have something special to say, you can say it with a lovespoon.
It was such a uniquely wonderful card, and I loved that it also taught me a little about a tradition in another part of the world. Post Muse’s response to the Question of the Week was as follows:
4 May 2012
This week’s question asks whether we have visited another country and written a letter from there, or received letters from abroad. Both are affirmative! Though I’ve received letters from many countries, the ones that most intrigue me are from Wales. I visited Wales a few years ago and it left its mark.
You can well imagine dragons and knights to fight them in Wales. The narrow side streets are lined with TALL hedges and the Welsh drivers must have x-ray vision because they drive with wild abandon around the corners and curves. The language is pure magic. Words that look as if they should take at least 5 minutes to say just tumble out as a single lovely note.
When I receive mail from Wales, all of the above memories come floating back. I did not write a letter from Wales, but I did buy this notecard. I didn’t buy any lovespoons, but should ever I go back, I will find a carver who can work a postal motif into the desgin.
I loved hearing about how the mail could take her back to those memories.
Thank you for the response!
That title is no joke. What is this picture below, you ask? Why, that is the first letter to find its home in the P.O. Box of Lovely Handwritten Notes!
I can’t even begin to describe to you how much this letter made my entire day. I was smiling and jumping and giggling with glee. It was so lovely. It made me realize that this project is really happening now. Its sender is also serendipitously from my beloved home state of California. It could not have been a more perfect first letter.
Oh, and it is beautiful. It drips with the sweetness of handwritten care. It is honest and warm and straight from the heart.
Its sender wrote an answer to last week’s Question of the Week: Why are you interested in this project? What is it that you like (or don’t like) about letter writing?
Her answer was truly perfect, and was written in happy blue marker with smiling penmanship:
April 25, 2012
Dear Lovely Handwritten Notes,
Hooray for your project! I <3 letter writing. Growing up, I used to pore over my grandparents’ letters to each other from the 1920s, and stationery became a great love of mine after receiving a bag of Hello Kitty stationery for a birthday around age six. Midway through college, email became standard and my best friend and I quit snail mailing each other regularly. I’ve been mourning the loss ever since! Just recently, I made a personal goal to send handwritten correspondence at least 2-3 times per week, which was spurred by the unexpected death of my mom. Handwritten correspondence is so much more personal. Thank you for taking it public!
This response gave me goosebumps. It covers the history, love, healing, and connection that handwritten correspondence creates.
Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Heather. Keep your eye on your mailbox!
Messenger of sympathy and love
Servant of parted friends
Consoler of the lonely
Bond of the scattered family
Enlarger of the common life
Since starting this project, my Mondays have received a whole bucketful more of cheer. This Monday, I’m seeing in triples.
This lovely tulip has an origin of Oregon, and an ability to remind me of the year Rho and I took that university by storm!
This one clearly came from a pal vacationing in both of our home states. I could tell the layout was conceived by a southern Californian since the Golden Gate is where the Redwoods should be! :/ My friend hinted at the mild love affair she got for southern California, just as I did when I last visited. This is a big thing for us northerners to admit.
Grandma, of course. I told you she was fast.
Last manic Monday, I shared with you my excitement about receiving not one, but two lovely handwritten notes in the mail. Well, my Mondays sure seem to be looking up because — you’re not going to believe this — today, I received not one, but two lovely handwritten notes once again!
The first was from my friend, Nicki. I haven’t seen her in far too long, but it’s because she’s been off immersing herself in the world. She’s spent nearly a year now teaching in Tanzania. Her heart-tickling postcard, however, came to me all the way from Zambia. I’m looking forward to reuniting with her when she returns home this summer, but for now I’ll look at this postcard and just imagine all the stories she’ll have by the time she gets here.
The second letter came from a mighty little force off in Minnesota who goes by the name of Katie. She’s pretty great. What I loved most about Katie’s letter was how it reminded me of how much I love letters written so simply on lined notebook paper. There’s something so elementary about it that makes me feel like I’m a little kid again, running around in the dirt outside and sneaking into the fort I’ve made to write secret messages to my friends. Lined paper is a timeless medium. I even enjoyed the torn edge of Katie’s letter that left the history of its removal from the notepad. It’s a delicate and quaint form of letter writing. Plus, I’m just crazy about Katie’s penmanship. I think it looks just like her personality — loyal, kind, creative, and friendly.
Thank you, ladies, for brightening my Monday!
P.S. Lovely Handwritten Notes now officially has its own P.O. Box! More exciting information and activities related to this will come later in the week — so stay tuned!