The joy of letter writing

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #161

Yesterday evening I sat down to write a letter.  Though I do regularly send postcards, taking the time to write a proper letter made me realise how rarely I do so.  I was writing in response to a letter from a dear friend, written a couple of months ago. Her familiar hand-writing covering several pages of lined paper, bringing me her thoughts and fragments of her life from the other side of the globe. A physical letter that I have pulled out, unfolded and re-read since I received it, thinking of my friend, taking the time to contemplate what I’d like to answer and tell her about, the questions I want to ask her…

So yesterday alone in the quiet of my flat, I finally took out some recycled paper and my favorite pen, and got writing.  About banal things, how the holidays had been, what I’ve been up to recently and what is on my mind of late…  The pages filled up quickly, thoughts flowing and getting more personal as I scribbled them down.  I ended up with a neat pile of numbered pages, slipped tightly into an envelope which will make its way across the world.

I love that letters don’t demand an immediate reading or a fast answer. They can stray in the limbo of the postal system.  By the time my words arrive, a couple of weeks will have passed, new events will have unfolded, thoughts will have evolved. The snippets of my life contained in the letter will be about an earlier-me, and penning the thoughts helped me to figure out what they meant to me at the time.

Human connection

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #154

I want to savour this week, which was rich in interactions of all sorts, in person, on paper and online, big and small, that made me feel I belong and warmed my heart.  I’m privileged to be surrounded by such wonderful human beings.  With their humour, questions, intelligence, struggles, ideas and imperfections, they help me to be as true a version of myself as I can be.

A chat with a colleague by the coffee machine about hair-styling and therapy; talking with my Mum on the phone about a very interesting course she attended and ideas it gave her; a semi-spontaneous catch-up after work with a dear friend over cake and tea;  discussing work decisions at 3 a.m. under our duvet; celebrating the birth of a new baby and exchanging about sustainability with my boxing-class mates after our workout; connecting with my cousin with whats’app messages; taking a walk to do the plastic recycling from the office letting the cold air revitalise us for the afternoon; reading a long awaited letter all the way from Western Australia; chatting over naan bread and delicious vegetable korma before watching a great play…

Time to move on

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Dear Winter,

Thank you for your request to prolong your contract.  We regret to inform you that, although you have performed remakably, we already have a replacement lined up.

For the last months, we were glad to use your cold days as an excuse to bundle up in blankets on the sofa to read for hours and watch movies, only going out when strictly necessary.  The snow you offered us occasionally was also much appreciated (as well as that one day when the ice was thick enough to skate on the Amsterdam canals).  Your crisp air and blue skies are stunning, however at the moment we are in need of something slightly different.

We are asking Spring to step in for a while. She comes with a strong experience in longer daylight hours and improving the weather. She will encourage sap to flow through trees, bushes to grow new leaves and flowers to show their brightest colours. Thanks to her contribution, it will soon be possible to leave hats and gloves at home, to enjoy after-work drinks outdoors and go for long sunny hikes in the dunes on the weekends.

Please rest assured that we value your efforts and look forward to collaborating again in 8 months or so.  In the meantime, we are glad to write a reference if you need it for the Southern Hemisphere. Enjoy being Down Under!

Kind regards,
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