I sit down to communicate with handwritten words, unfettered by computerized fonts.
or Times New Roman,
With a stack of postcards on my table, I take pen to paper. I use the same left-handed freestyle that has identified my writing since eighth-grade English. Call it Jennifer Script, 14-pt.
I address one postcard to a woman in town. I could email her. I could even “facebook” her (it’s a verb now, you know). But I choose to take my left-handed slant to a hand-stamped colored rectangle.
Words don’t fly at 90 words per minute when written this way. Even so, these words will sprout wings in the wait …
In today’s fast-paced world, there’s a name for letters that show up the old-fashioned way: snail mail. Opening the mailbox isn’t as thrilling as it once was. Most of our personal correspondence doesn’t come via our dusty, country lane; it travels here via the polished Information Superhighway.
But, this week we hit the Mailbox Jackpot:
An early birthday package for Anna.
A packet of stationery for Lydia, with an embossed initial L in each corner.
A copied childhood photo sent by my mother, along with a handwritten note.
And this: a front-page Des Moines Register story that carried the headline: “Penmanship making a comeback in Iowa.”
Have we gotten so far away from taking ink to paper that handwriting now earns “comeback” status?
The story quotes an educator who says: “The children are just lost. People keep saying, ‘We have computers. We don’t need to write.'”
Mom has a computer. But she still needs to write. Mom’s thoughts, put to paper, carry more weight in my hands than they would in my inbox.
She writes in Mother Script: “It’s 90 degrees here now – 5:00 P.M. Isn’t that something? We are so thankful for your Dr. report — several have called and inquired.”
Mom’s words came slowly by today’s standards. Yet they sprouted wings, carrying joy that perched on my kitchen table today. I had to wait for it.
Those who wait for the Lord
will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles. — Isaiah 40:31
It’s been a couple years since the rusty mailbox at Great-Grandma Lee’s house has been filled with mail. I stopped here today, because the mailbox had fallen open, like the mouth of a tongue-wagging dog.
At mailbox edge
I think of hope
carried on wings of words
to a mother, waiting.
Letters from her Vietnam soldier:
“Mom, I’m OK.”
(clipped and saved)
“Birds & Blooms.”
Bits of hope
where ink met paper
in the wait.
In our fast-paced world, God whispers: Wait.
He said wait, and a prophet named Isaiah took pen to parchment.
Wait, He says, I will give you new strength. You’ll sprout wings in the wait!
I peek inside Great-Grandma’s mailbox — a compartment where winged-words landed long ago — to find that hope is still taking flight there today.
For the mailbox held a bird’s nest. Feathers, straw and a cupped birthing place for new wings to sprout and soar, unfettered.
Postcards ready for “snail mail.”
A mother’s gift, atop a news story about the lost art of handwriting.
Mailbox filled with feathered hope.